October 18, 2009


This small village is 15 minutes from Lasem. This project is founded by William Kwan, which I hope to meet on my journey. We were being received by Miss Tika, a young anthropology student originally from Jeruk. I knew William was developing a project which teaches women to make Batik, but I didn't knew it just started in Jeruk.
With the project about 12 women learn how to make Batik. They make new Batikmotifs based on traditional ones. Because the women marry young in these areas they don't have a lot of schooling. Making Batik provides them with an extra income next to farming (and salt winning).
The women teach Batik to there daughters. This way they make a tradition and start a business.

We arrived and were invited to first drink this great Ginger tea. It was really strang, they knew all about my plans and were so honored that I came to visit them. But it was me that was honored to be welcomed there!After the tea Tika asked me if I wanted to try to make Batik. I didn't really wanted to make a fool of myself, but said 'of course' and asked if Tommas could join me. We batiked together with the women and girls, who are really good, a memory I will never forget. The place felt so perfect. The women told me I was doing a good job at it and that I was holding the canting correctly. The mother of Tika was sure I was able to learn the art of making Batik...

Tika showed me coloring experiments. Really great to see. Their experimenting with natural coloring, which is a difficult process. Sometimes the pigment, isn't strong enough, both the dye and wax get cooked out. Months of work for nothing. Sometimes the wax is applied to hot and the fabric gets burned.

Batikmakers keep coloring a trade secret, that's way they have to learn by experimenting how to color with natural pigments.

After my try-out on Batik making, Tika asked if I wanted to pose for a group-picture. Yes! I love this picture.

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