Copper tjaps

Designing the Fabric:  I work with natural fabrics of cotton, silk and rayon, often adding or subtracting color and pattern until I have a suitable base for hand-embellishment.

This might be accomplished with vat dyeing, low water immersion dyeing, the application of beeswax resist by hand, or a combination of all three techniques.

Batik is a wax resist method that allows the artist to build layers of color on a single piece of fabric, and is prized for its “crackle” effect. Hot wax is applied with brushes, tjanting tools or tjaps.

The tjaps I use may be made of copper or carved from blocks of wood.  Each tjap in my collection is a one-of-a-kind design. Tjaps from Indonesia are becoming more difficult to find due to an increase in the popularity of traditional batiking.  More distressingly, the rising price of copper has made these tools valuable, resulting in their destruction.

Embellishment:   Most wearables are embellished before they are constructed, as actual construction is one of the final steps.  Embellishment techniques may include hand embroidery, beading, applique, reverse applique and layering fabric.

Embellishment work is always done by hand.

The final steps involve seaming and finishing edges.  Work at this stage may be done by machine stitching, but is often done by hand, especially on small items.