We want to stay connected and creative with our community during these unprecedented times. 

Our first opportunity we are sharing is our Virtual Pop-Up. For the next few weeks, arts instructor Elisabeth Herrera is sharing virtual activities to keep you inspired. Follow along with each activity and share your creations with us on Instagram (@atlantacontemporary) with the hashtag #ACMAKES

We look forward to seeing everyone’s creations and continuing the excellent conversations we usually have in person in a digital space.

Batik Textiles

What is batik?

Batik is a wax resist technique for textiles. Wax is applied to fabric with a stamp, brush, or specialized tool

Batik originated in Indonesia and has been designated by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.


    Source: www.redduckpost.com/batik-an-ancient-indonesian-tradition/

    Batik and other forms of textile wax resist also have a strong tradition in Africa. Some of the earliest examples of batik can be found on wrappings of Egyptian mummies.

          Source: https://www.batikguild.org.uk/batik/history-of-batik/africa#:~:text=Batik%20in%20Africa,where%20starch%20paste%20is%20used.

          Studio Artist Spotlight: Textile Arts

          Myra Greene creates hand dyed cloth with screen printing. Myra’s work uses colors and patterns of African textiles to explore her own relationship to culture. Myra created a series of works using complementary colors to create shades of brown to celebrate blackness without the body.

                KKelly Taylor Mitchell’s work centers on oral histories woven into the fabric of the Africana Diaspora. Kelly creates masks and performative objects that she hand dyes, sews, and adorns with objects and patterns using many different techniques.


                        • Slow cooker or pot that you DO NOT use for cooking
                        • Beeswax or reclaimed wax from candles or crayons
                        • Clean, washed cotton textiles
                        • Newspaper, newsprint, or paper sacks
                        • Iron and ironing board
                        • Sponge brush, paintbrush, corks, or other heatproof tools for mark making

                            Step 1: Melt and apply wax

                            • Melt beeswax in a slow cooker or small pot (THAT YOU DO NOT USE FOR COOKING)
                            • Lay your clean, washed cotton textile on a protected work surface
                            • Use a sponge brush or paintbrush to paint on wax in your desired motif. Or use natural corks, metal stamps, or other heatproof tools to stamp on wax.
                            **Tip 1: If working in a small batch heat wax within a heatproof cup your pot or slow cooker
                            **Tip 2: Keep your tools warm within your slow cooker to prevent wax hardening on your tools between uses

                            Step 2: Dye your textiles

                            • Allow wax to dry completely.
                            • Fully submerge your textiles in dye.
                            **Want to make your own dye? Check out our tutorial on creating dye from foraged natural materials here
                            • Place dyed textiles in plastic bags and let sit overnight.
                            • The next day, rinse out excess dye and let air dry completely.

                              Step 3: Remove wax

                              • The wax has resisted the dye and preserved the original color of your textile underneath.
                              • Place an old towel on your ironing board (or other heatproof surface) to ensure it is protected from wax.
                              • Place your textile down on the protected surface. Cover with flattened paper bags, newsprint, or newspaper and begin ironing.
                              • Continue ironing and replacing newsprint until all wax has melted out of the textiles.
                              • Wash and dry normally before using.

                                Step 4: Share your work!

                                We love seeing how you use these prompts in your artmaking practice! Use the tag #ACMakes on social media to share your creations with us!


                                Elisabeth Herrera-Very

                                Elisabeth Herrera-Very is a teaching artist and art educator working in Atlanta. A former public school visual arts teacher she now focuses on community engagement and museum education. As a teaching artist she develops programming that provides inclusive, thoughtful, and relevant art experiences for participants of all ages and skill levels. Her programming at Atlanta Contemporary encourages patrons to explore their own creative process through contemporary art making practices and exploratory art making.


                                Share your creations with us! Tag us on Facebook or Instagram @atlantacontemporary and use the hashtag #ACMAKES.

                                Upcoming Events

                                July 20 / 12:30pm
                                Contemporary Talks

                                Artist Talk with Mary Stanley Studio

                                July 25 / 6:30pm
                                Contemporary Cocktails

                                Crafts + Cocktails

                                with Creative Mornings

                                July 29 / 12:00pm
                                Contemporary Kids

                                Contemporary Kids

                                Imported Layers Created with Sketch.

                                We encourage you to share your images using #atlantacontemporary. Read our full photography policy.