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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Aloha! (May 3, 2011)

After my first happy success with batik, I was excited to do more practice projects on smaller pieces of fabric before advancing to batiking actual clothing.

A few days ago I waxed and painted this image of a pineapple and was really happy with the result until I rinsed it. What I realized too late was that a lot of dye comes out of the fabric when you boil it to remove the wax, so the finished product did not have the intensity of color I thought it would. Next time I’ll use darker dye. I also will crumple the fabric more so that the wax breaks up more, leaving tiny lines of color between the waxed areas. Even if it’s not 100% how I wanted it, I still like how it turned out, and I love the new technique I’m learning.

I liked the surprises that emerged at the end. There’s always an element of unpredictability when you work with dye, which is part of the fun for me. I like the accidental drops of wax that fell on the stem of the pineapple. These imperfections make it more interesting to look at.

Why a pineapple? I’ve always liked the taste of it, but it was only a few years ago when I realized how much I like it as a symbol. I like that it signifies welcome, a positive message. But mostly I love how it looks! Pineapples are yellow, which is one of my favorite colors because it is so cheerful. The skin of the pineapple has such unusual texture, too. There is so much detail in its skin—the geometric shapes and pattern, the various colors on the outside. Even the stem fascinates me. If a pineapple’s golden oval shape is a face, the spiky green stem is its hair, a fun punk-rocker mohawk. This fruit is a lot more playful-looking than most fruits. I dig that. Maybe Hasbro should make a Mr. Pineapple Head toy.

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