Thursday, April 26, 2012

Toothpaste Batik - this year's batch


I've blogged about this insane process before, here and here and here. As a matter of fact, the first link is my most popular blog post of all time, by a landslide, and also one of my first posts on this blog! Go figure...

This year I gave the kids the challenge of coming up with an image based (loosely) on the theme "Fantasy". The results included dragons (yeah!), castles, mermaids, unicorns, wizards, a phoenix, and more. If the kids hadn't just finished those Laurel Burch papier-mache cats, I think I would have used her work as our motivating theme. Oh well. Last year the batiks were based on Matisse, and the previous year's inspiration was architectural images.

As always with this project, it is a delight walking into my classroom each morning, as it smells delightful - and minty fresh, as our batik resist is a mixture of toothpaste and Aloe Vera lotion. Not everyone is done, but here's a sampling of the work:

12 comments:

  1. Phyl -Each time I see your kids' batiks I swear I am going to do it just to experience all that clean smelling sweetness in the classroom! So, I am sitting here looking at my SAX catalogue. The Versatemp and Crayola Premier Tempera don't appear to be "Washable Tempera" and the Jazz Glossy just says its water-soluble, so I guess that's OK. The Versatemp is about $2 a pint, the Crayola is about $8 and the Jazz is around $5. Have you used any of these?? Do you think I'd be safe with the Versatemp -- it is a lot easier on my budget!!! Can't believe I am planning for next year already!

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    1. Christie, I'm not surprised you're already planning. If I wasn't retiring, my requisitions would have been due about a month ago.

      Anyhow - I mostly use the Versatemp and it works pretty well. I do also have some Crayola Premiere to fill in color gaps - there's a nice turquoise(the Versatemp turquoise is an awful color), and a nice magenta that appears very pink when washed (very different from the Versatemp magenta) but actually otherwise Versatemp is fine. In addition, I had some odds and ends of Artista II paints and the turquoise and blues were different and nice. I also had a couple of little sample bottles of Chromatemp paints, and the turquoise is rich and spectacular. If I could afford Chromatemp paints I bet the other colors work well too. I'd love a really intense black! Oh - a sample Utrecht red was great too.

      I actually made a sample piece of fabric with swatches of each color, and wrote a Sharpie initial by it: V for Versatemp, U for Utrecht etc, and then put the paints in solo cups and labled the covers to match. The kids referred to the sampler frequently.)

      As for the Jazz paints - I have used the Jazz metallics before but none others. I seem to remember them being strange - sticky? or a strange odor? - I can't remember - but the colors were intense so I bet they's work well.

      Do not use any white, even to mix values of color, and do not use metallics - I tested with no success. I pre-mixed some nice extra colors - a burgundy, blue-violet, red-violet, etc. The darker the better for making the white lines really show.

      For the resist, we also tried the Elmer's blue glue when I was short on toothpaste - lots of other people have posted that they use it - and it was AWFUL to wash out - really a challenge. I wouldn't use it again, and don't know why so many other people would want to do this.

      By the way - I've also heard hair gel works - but I haven't tried it. Hope this all helps!

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    2. You are such a treasure of great information!!!Thanks so much for all the details!!

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  2. Okay Phyl,

    I read Here, here and here but I couldn't find the measurements you used for each student's piece of muslin. It helps to know when I go to the fabric store. I cannot wait to try this with my 4th grades! Thanks-

    :)Pat

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    1. Pat, this year my fabric pieces were about 11"x14". The sizing was basically determined by the size of the piece of fabric I requisitioned, divided by the # of kids, with a few extras thrown in for oopsies and demos. My first year w/this project I used old sheets - the smooth texture worked really well - and I cut them in random sizes - some squares, some rectangles, etc. It was a pain when it came to mounting them. Last year's projects were longer and narrower than this year - maybe 11x18? When it comes right down to it, it's pretty hard to get them all cut to the exact same size, at least the way I did it, folding and cutting on my living room floor while I watched some mind-numbing TV (I know, I watch too much...)!

      Note: when I did the fabric mat for my "Always a Bright Side" piece (from one of the prior posts), I used a pale PINK fabric (since it was a breast cancer piece), so all my lines were pink. I'm thinking it could be fun to do with yellow, or a pale turquoise, etc. I actually LOVE doing authentic batik but it is SO time consuming and also requires appropriate place to do it that I haven't done any real batik in years.

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  3. What a great lesson! Textile embellishment is my passion! I'm pinning this one for next year!

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  4. A bunch more of these got washed out today, so next week when they are dry the kids will just do marker touch-ups as needed and I'll photograph them then to show you! Can't wait for you to see them, because I think this new batch is the best of them all this year!

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  5. This is fabulous as always love this lesson! You are brave to take it on every year looks like a ton of work!

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    1. Actually no, very easy, other than trips to the dollar store to buy more toothpaste... I meant to ask my dentist for donations but never did.

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  6. I am going to try this with my gyotaku fish..... will let you know if it works!

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    1. I'm not sure what this has to do w/gyotaku - how are you putting this batik technique together w/a printmaking technique? Maybe I'm missing something but I look forward to seeing what you do!

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  7. i just look around on the web searching for some ideas of batik. I am a batik online owner. What u did here is amazing!
    www.blossombatik.com

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