art, Art & Soul, art retreats, fiber art

Art & Soul Virginia – Melanie Testa

When I left Melanie Testa’s class Soy Wax Batik on Monday, the last day of Art and Soul, I felt like I had made a friend. This class was so much fun and stress-free. I rolled my pieces of wet painted fabric in a roll of freezer paper and brought them home to finish off. But, honestly, if I had not HAD to leave, I could have gone on doing this for hours more.

And I will, because I bought soy wax, a fry-daddy to melt the wax in, and I’ve already trotted out my potato mashers and have been seriously trolling eBay for rosette irons. Anything that you can dip in hot wax is game for this activity. Pieces of foam, wire, cookie cutters…one of the class’s favorite tools was a ravioli cutter.

Unfortunately, once I got home and ironed the wax out and washed my pieces, the colors were not nearly as vibrant. I am still happy with them, but I understand Melanie’s complaint about not being satisfied with her results with acrylic paint now. I threw out my Procion dyes a few years ago in some kind of insane fit – don’t ask why, I was in a very bad place – so now I need to reorder some to use for batik. I used to dye ikat for weaving and I’m kind of looking forward to having purple hands again. I found a very inexpensive web site for Dye-na-flow and Procion dyes at TN Art Supply so I think that I’ll use them.

I just love Melanie’s blog, Every Single Day, and her book “Inspired to Quilt” will inspire you to quilt! I just need to make friends with my sewing machine again and get over this tendinitis. Until then, I can batik and dye fabric though. Wheeeeeee!

Here are some of my samples. Each of the first three pairs have a before and after photo. The last two are just the finished products. I learned a lot from this class, even though I have worked with batik before. It was a long time ago and it turns out that I needed the refresher.

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