Susan Itkin's Profile

About

Batik is an ancient fabric dyeing technique which utilizes wax as a resist. Used in many cultures throughout the world such as Indonesia, Africa, and China, batik decorates fabric used for clothing and home décor as well as fine art. A design in melted wax is applied to the fabric, which resists the dye. After successive waxings and different colored dye baths, the wax cracks, creating the characteristic batik crackle. When the wax is removed, a unique work of art is revealed.

When I think of what inspires my work, it all boils down to two things: my delight in color and in nature. Most of my batik paintings are of flora from around the world. Some are flowers and foliage I saw in Belize and the Caribbean, and some are from my New Jersey backyard. Some are stylized depictions, some more realistic. All these batiks reveal my fascination with colors – combining them,…

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  • Female
  • Born on September 13
  • Joined December 22, 2007

Favorite materials

Silk, cotton, wax, dyes

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About

Batik is an ancient fabric dyeing technique which utilizes wax as a resist. Used in many cultures throughout the world such as Indonesia, Africa, and China, batik decorates fabric used for clothing and home décor as well as fine art. A design in melted wax is applied to the fabric, which resists the dye. After successive waxings and different colored dye baths, the wax cracks, creating the characteristic batik crackle. When the wax is removed, a unique work of art is revealed.

When I think of what inspires my work, it all boils down to two things: my delight in color and in nature. Most of my batik paintings are of flora from around the world. Some are flowers and foliage I saw in Belize and the Caribbean, and some are from my New Jersey backyard. Some are stylized depictions, some more realistic. All these batiks reveal my fascination with colors – combining them, mixing them, savoring every slight difference in shade. Colors strike an emotional chord within me – seeing the right combination of a muted wheat-like yellow and a not-quite barn red can lift my mood immediately.

Much like the flora that inspires my work, batik is an imperfect perfect art. As no two leaves are alike, no two batiks are alike. Just like the colors on a flower’s petal, the dyes on a piece of fabric blend a little differently each time. My anticipation and delight in each blossoming flower reflects my hope and joy each time I remove the wax from a completed batik. Through practicing the art of batik, I have found that, to me, there is perfection in the astounding range of colors in the world. The beautiful imperfections in the batik process have taught me to value the unique and enjoy the unexpected.

I have exhibited and sold my batiks in the New York metropolitan area since 2003. Most recently I exhibited at the Belskie Museum of Art and Science in Closter, NJ. My cards are for sale year-round at the Belskie and at Stoopher and Boots, a gift boutique in New York City.

I have taught crafts to children, leading silk painting workshops at the Oradell Arts and Business Coalition’s Winterfest, and as a Girl Scout and Cub Scout leader.

Although mostly self-taught, I studied batik at the New School for Social Research in New York. I minored in Fine Arts at Syracuse University, where I obtained a B.S. in Communications.

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