A landscape design in several colours, batiked upon the lid of a whitewood box. Marqueterie stains are used for the colouring

A landscape design in several colours, batiked upon the lid of a whitewood box. Marqueterie stains are used for the colouring

Reiman's School the pattern on the ends appears in white on a grey ground. On a white scarf the pattern was traced in wax, the whole was then dyed a pale grey shade. The wax was then removed, leaving the design in the original white, upon a grey background, because wherever wax is laid that part is rendered impervious to dyeing or staining, which is the principle of batik work. If it is desired to accentuate any minute portion of the pattern with a darker shade, it need not be re-dyed; a deeper stain laid on with a fine brush will answer the purpose perfectly. Benzine will remove wax from a design, or the material may be ironed, under tissue-paper or a soft cloth.

When two or more colours are required, say, two shades of green on a pale blue ground, a piece of blue silk is procured, and wax applied to those parts that are to remain that colour. Then the first shade of green is laid on, and covered with wax in its turn. Finally, a deeper shade of green is washed over the whole. When cleaned with benzine the wax will be removed from the original blue ground and the first shade of green, leaving the silk in two shades of green with a pale blue pattern.

How to Batik upon Wood and Other Substances

Whitewood is peculiarly suitable for batik work. Any of the numerous objects provided for poker-work, marqueterie, or carving can be beautified by this process.

There are two distinct ways of carrying out the work, the one described first being by far the easier and more effective. Suppose that the object selected is a whitewood box-similar to the one illustrated-of which the lid only is to be batiked in several colours. The box should first receive two coats of the prepared size, sold in bottles with marqueterie stains-it will require warming to reduce it to a liquid state. The fines of the border must be carefully ruled, and the outline of the picture lightly sketched in with a blue pencil. With the batik pencil -or a fine brush, if preferred-the whole of the outline is then gone over with wax, thus dividing the picture up into a number of compartments, each surrounded by a wall of wax.

The colouring process is simple, marqueterie stains being employed, each colour being laid on flatly with a camel-hair or sable brush, and no shading attempted. Each division receives its own appropriate shade-yellow for the sunset sky, orange for the clouds, dark brown for the stems of the pines, two shades of green for the foliage, purple for the distant hill, and various shades of grey and light warm browns for the patches of colour in the foreground. The border is carried out in dark brown and green, the latter shade being used for the rest of the outside of the box and for the inside also. Several coats of the darker shades will be necessary to give the required depth of tone.

The second process referred to is exemplified in the card-tray illustrated. This is a study in monochrome, blue-green being the tint chosen to represent the night scene. On a whitewood plaque-previously sized-the moon, stars, and eyes of owls and bats were first coated with wax. A wash of marqueterie stain was next applied over the whole. When dry, the light markings were waxed in the same manner, and the remaining portions of the owls, bats, and branches

A batik study in monochrome upon a whitewood card tray in two shades of blue green

A batik study in monochrome upon a whitewood card-tray in two shades of blue-green. The moon and stars and the eyes of the owls are left white painted in with a darker shade of the stain. When the wax was removed with an ivory paper-knife, the design appeared in two shades of blue-green, with the moon, stars, and eyes left in white. A wax polish completes the work.

It will readily be seen that daring colour effects can be obtained by adding further designs in wax to a partially completed piece, and giving it additional coats of stains. Often entirely unexpected and brilliant results will reward the adventurous artist who essays original combinations. Marqueterie stains may be employed upon leather, but for paper, cardboard, parchment, and linoleum it is best to use waterproof drawing-inks.