September 8, 2016

First day

Tuesday my journey to Batik started, but I can better say it started today with a nice meet with a big Batik fan & supporter, Jennifer Wanardi from Redaya Batik.

I arrived Wednesday after a long flight, you always forget how boring you get on planes. I couldn't sleep so started watching a lot of movies during which I fell asleep, haha. And three meals, pfff I'm still stuffed. But the flight was good and on time.
In Jakarta I brought Dutch weather with me because it was raining cats and dogs. I had someone to pick me up who didn't want me to run through the rain to get to the car. After a while the rain didn't get less, so I said: I don't minded, lets run! So we did and it was not so bad.
After what is consider a short ride in Jakarta, I arrived at the POP! Hotel Kemang. A popular brand of hotels that are focussed on being green. They have trash bins to separate paper, plastic and waste. In my room I have to put my card into a slot to access electricity, so no unnecessary burning lights in empty hotel rooms! Should be great everywhere! Less sustainable is that the tv also switches on every time I put the card in and that there is music playing loudly in the hallway. So some improvements to be made, but happy to be so far away from home and still can be a little sustainable after my flight...

After a good night sleep, I wake up this morning without a clue for a plan.  I was very happy when I got a WhatsApp from Jennifer that she had time to meet me that afternoon.
I used the morning to relax and around noon Jennifer was waiting for me in hotel lobby wearing a beautiful yellow with green shirt made from Batik Lasem.
We went for lunch about hundred meters from my hotel. She brought an amazing collection of her Redaya Batik stock, so I could pick fabric for a dress & skirt by her design. It was good to see Batiks from Jeruk, the village I visited in October 2009. The talented Batik makers Ibu Maryati, who made my pagi-sore design 'Moeilijke tijd' and Ibu Ramini, leader of Kelompok Usaha Bersama Srikandi Jeruk, have grown in skill and boldness. The Batiks have a modern feel with patterns that seem to grow over the fabric. They don't use the classic bordering, it is made with a more free set up. A colour combination they now frequently use has a blueish green/aqua pattern on a dark, reddish, purple brown. It makes the blue colour really pop out. Jennifer asked me what my favourite colour was, so she could make a selection. I answered "aqua blue (all blue/green colours) and purple". How they know me in Jeruk!

Jennifer brought also examples of Batik with a white background. These Batiks are really hard to make. Large parts need to be covered with wax and it is hard to make a clear white background without craquelé. I found it interesting with these examples of Batiks how technique can be interpreted so differently around the world. In Indonesia the crackles on Batik need be kept to a bare minimum. A cloth with to much crackle will be considered as bad production. In the Netherlands and more places in Europe a Batik will not be recognised as a quality piece without the crackles. People associate the craquelé with craft. That it shows that it is handmade. But if you see these Batiks, you will see the refinement of the hand that has drawn the patterns with hot wax. The quality of the lines is that they have no edges, like they are rounded off. They dissolve in the background, yet the form a clear border between the different colours.

I picked two Batiks that are made into clothing for me, but most of the cloths I wouldn't dare to cut up. In Jeruk they produce two types of Batik. A faster drawn one on a normal (still very thin and soft) cotton and one really draw refined with a thinner canting pen on both normal and high quality cotton.

The Batiks were with Tiga Negri with a nice yellow instead of the traditional brown, Lasem red on a dark blue;  Pagi-Sore in the beautiful colour combination I described in this post with a mixture of birds and kraton patterns and a mint coloured 'Flower Universe'.
I will visit Jeruk and surely buy some nice pieces there, but dear reader, if you see any Batiks in this post you would like to own, just send me an email or WhatsApp!
Selemat Malam!

Till the next journey to Batik update!

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