Entries by Daniel Gundlach

Batik Pesisir, Yesterday and Today

Batik Pesisir was produced in coastal areas of northern Java and Madura that were exposed to sea trading and  consequently  was influenced by cultures from other parts of the world. It was distinguished from the batik that came from the rest of Java which emanated originally from the keraton, or royal courts, and was fundamentally […]

BATIK to raise environmental consciousness

I love batik that tells a story. By this I do not mean the European-influenced fairytale batik of the last century produced in Java during the Dutch colonial occupation in Indonesia, that depict snow white or little red riding hood. I mean batik that tells us something about real life. I have always loved the […]

Artists who use indigo: Rowland and Chinami Ricketts

Recently I visited Rowland and Chinami Ricketts in their studio in Bloomington, Indiana , where Rowland is an assistant professor on the textiles faculty in the School of Fine Arts. “Rowland and Chinami Ricketts use natural materials and traditional processes to create contemporary textiles. Chinami hand-weaves narrow width yardage for kimono and obi. Rowland hand-dyes […]

Coloring batik, naturally

I’ve looked at many batik colored with natural dyes, and often the results are somewhat dull and flat. When I saw this one by my colleague, Mas Solikhin Ahmad of Pekalongan on the north coast of Java, I jumped for joy at the liveliness of the color, all derived from natural sources, including indigo. The […]

Making a “Love” cap

I tried my hand at using the canting to write with wax  but it is a long and difficult process. My friend Asif suggested that I ask his friend who is a skilled tukang cap to make a “Love”stamp. I was skeptical that it could be done. Having never seen how a stamp, called a […]

The women of Kebon Indah

What a joy to visit these lovely artisans in Kebon, Klaten, Central Java. Their work is beautiful and their spirit spirit is inspiring. They are a collective (kelompok) of 169 women from a group of small villages who have joined together, pooling their resources to make batik using only natural ingredients gathered locally to color […]

Celup, celup, celup

The darkest indigo batik I have ever seen is from the workshop of Hanafi natural dyer in Pekalongan Central Java. This is a clip from his workshop. A batik of the deepest blue may need more than 100 celup (dips) and take many weeks to produce.