Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Hot plate crayon batik

Well, after a weekend away with family it seems only right to jump back in with a bit of a splash. We've had a very busy day! After a morning of meetings and a visit to my folks, with both kids, we landed home for lunch and got busy. I'm still so excited about the wax crayon batik technique I tried recently and have been wanting to explore it a bit more. After making cakes and sock puppets with Midi I managed to grab a few minutes to try something new.

The first time I tried it I put wax crayons into a cake tin and popped them in and out of the oven to keep them melted enough to paint with. It was fun but a little fiddly. I couldn't help but wonder if it would be possible to use the same technique employed to get the wax out of the fabric to put it in, or something like it anyway. I think it worked:

With both kids about I didn't really have the option of going back and forth to a hot oven and having melted wax sitting about ready to be prodded/spilt/eaten. So drew out a basic design on a small scrap of white cotton and placed it on a foil covered baking tray directly over a hot plate on the hob:

 I then coloured in the image with wax crayons, holding the tray still with an oven-mit with my other hand. The heat from the hot plate melted the wax on contact. This allowed a much finer layer of wax to be applied than with the painted on technique, but it was a little awkward. It was hard to get neat edges because the crayon was constantly changing shape as it melted into the fabric. Apart from that it seemed to work quite well and I'm sure it could be refined with practice. Neatness is not one of my virtues anyway.

Once coloured, I popped it in the fridge for a couple of minutes so the wax could really harden. Given it was a much finer wax coating I wasn't sure how well the cracking aspect would work so I wanted to give it all the help I could. As it happened, it didn't crack well. There was no satisfying crunch when I scrunched it up so I wasn't filled with confidence but then, this was an experiment. Time would tell.

I then painted on some blue acrylic paint. This time I didn't fill in the whole image in wax so I needed to use a relevant background colour instead of just a high contrast colour. I probably could have gone darker but I got hijacked by small child before I could do another coat so decided to just see how it worked as was.

Once it dried I hit the iron. This was one big plus of doing it this way - the ironing took a fraction of the time and the wax was out. I'd decided to use the piece as a patch so when I ironed it I also ironed the edges in ready for sewing.

It wasn't looking too magical, but a quick once over with a black fabric pen and the wonder of the technique revealed itself:

So, the cracking was much more subtle and the contrast wasn't as extreme with the blue rather than a black bleed, but this approach still gives some lovely colour variation. I'm really quite pleased with how it turned out.

Midi was by now getting peckish so I made her some tea and once Mini had been fed and changed and was in his 'happy to watch, grin and gurgle' mode I jumped on to the sewing machine. I still had half a pair of old jeans left from when we made bean bags last week so cut it up and knocked out a quick bag to go with the patch. I thought the denim would be a good match for the blue image.

I'm quite pleased with it. I recently read about Sew, Mama, Sew's May Giveaway Day and thought it was an amazing idea. I liked the idea of taking part but couldn't think what to offer - until now. I think this may be it, so if you fancy it, pop back on Monday to sign up for a chance to get it winging its way to you.

So that was our busy day! I will now head to bed with happy memories of today's chocolate cakes:

Sock puppet shenanigans:

And the fun and frolicks that can be had with snatched moments and wax crayons. Night all!

1 comment:

  1. That is interesting and good final work. Your daughter is beautiful!


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