Sunday, July 5, 2015

Gel Glue Batik Lesson

(Update - I have added an Elephant Batik example done on handkerchiefs)
I wasn't going to do a post about the glue batik because there are so many others out there, but after trying it I found it's not as simple as it looks.

The other examples I read said to use the Elmer's clear gel glue.  I tried that and found it super messy and hard to control for this project.  It really went through the fabric quickly and made a puddle on the paper underneath and it was hard to make lines with - it glopped on and I ended up with a gloppy mess.

I tried the Elmer's glitter glue and it goes on in a more controlled way and doesn't leak through the fabric as much.  I was worried the color and glitter wouldn't wash away, but it did.

I'm going to have my students do their Peacock as part of an Art Around the World unit.  This will give them a chance to try Batik, an India art technique, and Peacocks are also the National Bird in India.

Batik it traditionally done to decorate fabric by using melted wax to resist the dye.  A special pen filled with melted wax called a Tjanting or Canting pen is used for fine lines.

Some examples of batik fabric
Great Batik Video:

First the students draw their peacock on large 12 X 18" paper.  Then since the white cotton is see through they can trace their drawing onto a handkerchief or pillowcase with the glue.

Here is the site I used to draw my peacock:
I like how simple they make drawing the peacock.

Here it is with the glue applied.  This will need to dry overnight.

Now begin painting - it's easy to stay within the glue lines with the watered down acrylic paint.  You can also use it almost like watercolor by allowing the colors to mix on the fabric.

The painting is done but the glue is still there.  After the paint is dry soak your project for about 30 minutes in warm water and then scrub off the dissolved glue.  I used a scrub brush to get it all off - OR - Use the soak cycle on your washing machine without any soap, then rinse and spin.  Do it again if you need to - then iron the damp batik pieces.  

I love the way batik looks.  
If you do the project on a pillowcase it becomes a decorative pillow easily.
Student Pillowcases:

Student work:

One of my classes made 16" X 16" pillows out of their Batik - we just sewed an elephant print fabric onto the back and used pre made pillow forms to stuff them.

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