I recently started a City & Guilds Certificate in Craft & Design course at my local college and it is an amazing amount of fun, so I've decided to share the ideas and techniques here on my blog in the hope that it will inspire a few others to have a go at playing with textiles. As the course started a few weeks ago I have a bit of catching up to do, so I'll start right now with week one.
The first step was some quick sketching of leaves and seedpods for inspiration while the wax was heating. Next up I drew some wax patterns onto different weights of discharge fabric using tjanting tools. These tools really do take practice and I ended up having to incorporate a lot of drips and splodges into my designs. Once the wax is dry the fabric is soaked in sterilising fluid to remove the black dye. I let my fabric have a fairly good soak for a lighter colour. After rinsing and ironing to remove the bulk of the wax, this is how my designs turned out.
Even the papers I used to absorb the wax were put to use. As they now sported the pattern from my discharge fabric I was able to colour wash them with varying degrees of success.
While the wax was hot I also got to try a batik technique on tissue paper, building up layers of wax and colour washes. Each wash blends with the previous ones (so you do need to think about colour mixing) except where the wax has been applied. With a little planning this technique can be used to produce beautiful batiks but I was happy with my "work it out as I go" effort.
An added bonus is that I share my day at college with a lovely group of ladies in various years of both the certificate and diploma levels of the course - so there is a range of different work going on all at once and plenty of textile eye candy for us newbies.