I design and make unique, original wearable art from hand batik fabrics and my own hand batik paintings. My specialty is combining different batiks in flowing circular panels or patchwork configurations, and turning my batik paintings into one of a kind kimonos, tops, bags and cushion covers.
My designs and craft have evolved over 29 years of travelling and living in the Caribbean, Florida and Asia. My affinity for the tropics – the happy colors, soothing vistas and uplifting and nourishing energy – has inspired my work, and my label name, Tropical Vibrations.
I make the majority of my products from first quality, handmade batiks, in my second home of 14 years - Bali, Indonesia.
WHAT IS SO SPECIAL ABOUT BATIK FABRICS?
Batik is an ancient traditional art form throughout Indonesia, passed down through generations of skilled artisans. Each hand-batiked piece of fabric is created by blocking out selected areas of the cloth, brushing or stamping hot wax over it, and then dyeing the cloth. The parts covered in wax resist the dye and remain the original color. Often, the fabric is dyed once before it is batiked, allowing a complimentary color to show through the stamped or stenciled pattern.
The stamps are intricate three dimensional artistic creations made by another group of artisans. Originally carved out of wood, today metal workers construct stamps from design drawings. In the past 3 years I have had 6 of my own designs made into stamps.
MY ORIGINAL BATIK PAINTINGS
I first draw my design on paper, then go over all the lines with black permanent marker. I trace the design onto white material with a pencil. Next, all the lines are waxed using the traditional chanting process ( an applicator reminiscent of the old time straight pen with a revervoir that is constantly filled with melted wax from a metal bowl keeping the wax liquid over a small flame. The piece is then stretched horizontally between standing wood pieces resembling thin saw horses with small nails along the top suface, Safety pins are used to attach the fabric to the frames. Liquid fabric dyes are applied with homemade fiber wrapped sticks of various sizes, using techniques similar to water color painting. The wax creates resist lines, keeping the colors inside the lines. Once painted the piece is put through a chemical color fasting process, boiled and washed to remove the wax. Any shrinkage happens during this process so none of my batik clothing will shrink, bleed or fade.
With the exception of the silk/rayon batiks, all my clothing and accessories are machine wash gentle and hang dry. Short times in the dryer with a mist setting or spraying a little water, if great for getting out any wrinkles. Durable and Easy Care!
Sometimes I do a second processing on a painting or a factory stamp batik fabric. The piece is washed then submerged in a single color dye bath and quickly removed and then place on a tarp and scrunched up. Next a bleach water blend is sprayed on the piece, which is washed quickly to stop the bleaching process. This step creates a textured look on the painting with the 2nd dye color changing the original colors except where the bleaching mixture made contact which shows the original color.
To me, batik has a life of its own. No two batik productions are exactly the same and can be totally different shades of color from the last production. I continue to be inspired by the beauty of the fabrics as well as my customers’ happiness wearing them. In 2016 I made many samples of Abstract designs. I began to produce 4 of them but time ran out. Christmas 2016 was too rainy initially and when the weather improved I focused on painting new bedcovers for the Villa to match my paintings on the bedroom walls. I'm looking forward to producing enough handpainted abstract fabric to make some of my designs this coming summer for next season.
DEWA AND I MAKING OUR FIRST DESIGN - THE 6 PANEL SKIRT AT THE VILLA IN 2003.
MY STORY AND SHOW SCHEDULE
2016 - MY HANDPAINTED KIMONO AWAITS COMPLETION WHILE I EAT LUNCH.
LAYING OUT FABRIC TO CUT PATTERNS IN MY CURRENT STUDIO.
2006 - I MOVED INTO MY CURRENT STUDIO.
ONE OF MY FIRST PAINTINGS 2004.
SHOW SCHEDULE 2017
Feb 25 Ft Pierce Art and Craft Market run by the Ft. Pierce Blues and Jazz Society. Hours are 8am-1pm.
Feb 26 Palm Beach Gardens Greenmarket which also has juried arts and crafts vendor in addition to Food, produce, live music and plants. Hours are 8am-1pm. I'll be there this weekend and the next 3 weekends while I am at out of town show, my friend Spider will stand in for me at these shows.
March 3 & 4 Marco Island Art League Show at the Art Center on Winterberry.
March 10 & 11 Anna Maria Island Springfest at Holmes Beach, put on by the Art League.
March 17 & 18, (Friday and Saturday) Sanibel Island Lion's Club Art and Craft Show on Periwinkle.
March 19 Palm Beach Gardens Greenmarket.
March 25 Ft Pierce Art and Craft Market
March 26 Palm Beach Gardens Greenmarket
April 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 Ft Pierce Art and Craft Market
April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 Palm Beach Gardens Greenmarket
Mermaid Dolphin Garden Flag
Ginger Mermaid full sarong (72" x 46")
LAST PAINTING SUMMER 2015
2005 IN MY FIRST SMALL INDOOR STUDIO.