For the month of February, my boyfriend booked another class as part of a Valentine’s Day surprise in Bali. We spent a wonderful morning making batik at Deking Bali.

We started a day with a car pick up from Mr Deking himself (we were staying at a villa outside of Ubud) to the class venue. It was a gorgeous compound that looked like his house. We were very lucky to be the only two people at the class that day, so it was just like a private class 🙂

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View from the table where we were working from
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Corner with all his supplies..covered in beautiful batik

We were going to make one square piece of batik print – Mr Deking gave  us some designs to choose from (he already pre-drew them with pencil on the white square cloth pieces).

My boyfriend picked a hibiscus design, and I picked one with a family of elephants 🙂

Mr Deking then explained the process to us – we had to use beeswax to draw along the pencil outlines to “protect” the lines from being coloured in the rest of the batik-making process. This required the use of a pen like contraption that had to be refilled with hot beeswax every minute or so.

Thereafter, we had to paint the background with paraffin wax. This was a softer wax, and when it dried, we scrunched up the cloth to let the paraffin have the crinkly effect (which would appear when dying the cloth at the end).

The next and most challenging step was to paint in the colours. The painting itself was not hard, but the process of getting the right colours was. We had to paint some pretty randomly-coloured translucent liquids that looked nothing like our intended colours in various sequence, to create the colours we needed. That was pretty confusing and I messed up a section of my coconut leaves :p

Note my “brown” leaf below – didn’t get dark green as planned as I mixed up the liquids I was supposed to use. Oops.

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My boyfriend painted a pretty hibiscus – it was difficult to get the colour gradients on the leaves as well:

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Mr Deking did the final step for us – soaking the cloth in blue dye, and boiling to melt off the beeswax and paraffin wax. (I imagine we would have made a mess and gotten dye on our arms and clothes).

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Tada! The imperfections in our painting go quite well with the crinkly blue dye 🙂
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Details of the workshop

Duration: ~Three hours (we took a bit more)
Price: IDR 450,000 (~SGD50) – check out more classed on the the Deking Art website

Level of “fun”: 4/5

It was an interesting experience using the various contraptions to draw with hot melted wax. Witnessing your piece of white cloth slowly being transformed with different colours and patterns through various mediums was also very enjoyable!

Level of difficulty: 3.5/5

The main challenge was having to have steady hands when drawing the outline, and also having a good and clear mind for painting the similarly-coloured liquids in the right sequence to achieve the right colours we intended 😉 Mr Deking was always ready to help us make slight adjustments in case we messed up a little bit.