Artistic Batiks ~~ Wanda Maria Ast

Abstract Batik Prints



On many continents and in many cultures batik printmaking is practiced by women and by men.. It is a lovely and ancient art form. In most regions of the world batik material is used to make dresses, skirts, and shawls. However in some countries, especially in the West, Batiks are created solely to serve as pieces of art; the goal is design and beauty, not practicality or utility.

These batiks are intended to hang on the walls, either in homes or fine art galleries. Wanda Maria Ast is part of that work-wide craft tradition and created batiks that could be framed and hung on the wall, just like any painting. In fact she sold many of her framed batiks at various galleries and art shows in North Georgia.




Here is a selection of abstract batiks completed by Wanda Maria Ast, who was my paternal grandmother. She experimented with many types of fabric, different wax - resist application techniques, a variety of different brushes and dyes, and made great use of color in her work. All of these batiks, or photographs of batiks, are part of a collection of work I inherited from her.

To view more batiks and for more information on the wax resist - dye process and fabrics and papers suitable for making prints, please see "Batiks: Ancient Process - Modern Art" (phdast7)



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BatikDesign and Javanese Fabric

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Comments 39 comments

Ann Marie Dwyer profile image

Ann Marie Dwyer 5 years ago from South Carolina, USA

I love the shoe in the third one. Very interesting. She was very talented!

Red.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thanks Ann Marie. She was a very talented and interesting woman. She worked in chalks, oils, acrylics and eventually tried her hand at Batiks in her 60's. She was also an accomplished poet and I am currently editing a volume of her poetry, hoping eventually to find university press to publish her work. Thanks again.


learntolive profile image

learntolive 5 years ago

Wow, that's gorgeous!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you, on her behalf. Sometimes I have wondered if I appreciate her work just because we are family, although I try to be objective. So it is very nice and reassuring when other people who never knew her appreciate her work. Thanks again.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 5 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

I love batik work and had a batik shirt for many years!


David Harvey profile image

David Harvey 5 years ago from Sydney Australia

I haven't seen or touched a batik in three decades or longer. They were bloody beautiful.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Bard - I love them too, they are all so different and unique and the colors are often incredible. I think it is past time to get another shirt. :) After these two Hubs, I hope to post again with more of her batiks and some of her oil paintings as well. Thanks for commenting.

David- They are bloody beautiful and three decades is far too long. Get yourself a batik shirt or cover a pillow, or find a gorgeous piece to frame and hang in your home or office (which I often do). During the most boring or irritating moments of my work day, I simply look around my office and get lost in the beautiful batiks covering the wall. :) Cheers!


mljdgulley354 profile image

mljdgulley354 4 years ago

Very beautiful. I'm not familiar with batik so will have do to some studying.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you. I did another Hub on her batiks and there is a pretty good lengthy explanation in it about the wax resist and dye technique which is central to batiking.


capricornrising profile image

capricornrising 4 years ago from Wilmington, NC

Gasp! How beautiful! Like paintings - they don't look like merely random patterns at all. Thank you for sharing them.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you, they are gorgeous aren't they. I have two more Hubs on her art-work (hope to do more in the future). One is on batiks with an explanation of the process - I find that few people in the west know much about the wax-resist-dye process. The other Hub showcases some of her oil paintings. You might appreciate those as well.

I just read the first chapter in your post-graduate narrative essay compilation. Looking forward to reading more. :)


capricornrising profile image

capricornrising 4 years ago from Wilmington, NC

I look forward to reading your other art hubs! And thank you for coming by and reading my "tome." I've noticed that I got more creative the deeper in I got. Heh!


Kris Heeter profile image

Kris Heeter 4 years ago from Indiana

These are beautiful! I love batiks. I haven't quilted with them yet but I'm hoping to in the near future. Thanks for sharing these.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Capricorn- Glad the batik and other art Hubs appeal to you.

And I love the word "tome" and that you used it. Not many people do and I am a bit of a language-word freak. Adding new and useful words to my personal lexicon is one of my favorite things to do. :) Have a great Christmas.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Kris- So glad you like the batiks. I love them and my house and my office up at the university are full of them, but they aren't everybody's cup of tea. I hope to post more before too long. Quilting a batik pattern would be wild and cool. :)

Thank you for your gracious fan mail comments. I liked history OK until I was a Junior in college. Then for the first time I had a professor who cared very little about dates and lists of king's names, who talked about the why of history.

He emphasized connections, contingencies, movements, patterns, discontinuities; he taught history by bringing to bear ideas from politics, geography, economics, religion, cultural studies, and more. He opened my eyes to the interconnectedness of all disciplines and I fell in love with history.

The fact that he had us read novels instead of traditional textbooks didn't hurt either. I have carried over many of his techniques into my own teaching, in fact in upper level history courses I make use of historical films, because they pique student interest and they are marvelous vehicles for teaching students about analysis and composition and so forth. A good example is my Hub on We Were Soldiers.

Thanks again for the comments and I am glad you have come to appreciate history even if it wasn't during your college years. :)


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

I ran across this Hub before and perhaps forgot to comment.. maybe I was just so amazed.. these prints ( Batiks? ) are so amazing


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

She was pretty good if I do say so myself. Yes, Batiks, is the correct word. What I especially like are the fine lines. You use wax to prevent the dye from penetrating certain parts of the design. But it is possible to use a more fragile wax that will crack or craze and allow the dye to run into those areas. Glad you like them and I appreciate the comment. :)


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Beautiful work. Would you ever consider selling prints of her work on a personal Web site? There seems to be a market for her work!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

I would consider it. As with all things, it comes down to the time and effort it would take me to set something like that up...Right now my hands are really full (with school and just writing and commenting on HP). Maybe when I retire. :)


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

I remember encountering this art form while traveling through Malaysia and even went on a factory tour. You've picked a nice selection to illustrate. Voting this Up and Beautiful.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you very much. It does seem like Batiks were common in Malaysia, all parts of Indonesia, long before they reached the West. How wonderful to have gone on a factory tour. :) My grandmother was an eclectic, iconoclastic artist and she left us much wonderful artwork. Sharing it with others is a pleasure.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK

I love batik and these are beautiful. It makes me want to try doing some again. It’s been a long time since I did.


Kris Heeter profile image

Kris Heeter 4 years ago from Indiana

oooh la la - I love batiks! Loved this hub:) Traditional and original batiks are definitely a fascinating form of art!


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

I like the seventh and eighth the most. I had no idea what a batik was. Is there some sort of machine that does these or are they done by hand?

Interesting, thank You for sharing. Cheers!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

White Wolf - So the 7th and 8th are your favorites. I have favorites too, but they seem to change over time. :)

My grandmother and other artists do them by hand and it is incredibly labor intensive and pretty back breaking work - hers were so large that she spent hours and hours on her knees dipping the fabric into a bathtub full of dye(check out the related hubs I have on batiks - I think one of them has a good description.

But I have seen commercial mass produced fabrics that are called batiks. They tend to have very small patterns that repeat endlessly and they tend to have fewer color combinations. My guess is that they saw a batik pattern somewhere (africa, asia) that they liked and so they took a small portion of the overall design and produced.

Some of these fabrics are quite beautiful - I have a couple of long flowing skirts that I bought in stores. But they don't have the complexity of design that you frequently find in hand made batiks. I like both! Well, truth be told, I like the commercially produced ones and I love the artistry in my Bopcia's batiks. :)

Glad you got to see them and liked them. (Planning to reply to your other recent comment, just working my way through quite a few responses...seems like it is either feast or Famine around here. :) No comments for days and then quite a few in just a day or two...I am sure there is an algorithm to explain it. :) Theresa


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi Melovy - So glad you think they are beautiful. Be sure and take a look at the other hubs on her oil paintings, watercolors, and batiks. I have alas not inherited her talents, but I certainly enjoy writing about hers...and my grandfather's - he was a gifted sculptor. You SHOULD try you hand at batiking again. :)

Thanks for the visit and the comments. :)


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi Kris - So glad you liked the batiks and the hub (there are others you might not have seen - paintings, watercolors, batiks, sculpture). And you are the person to respond with an "ooh la la" which I absolutely loved. I laughed out loud and I am still smiling. :) Take care. Theresa


molometer profile image

molometer 4 years ago

Hello Theresa,

This is a lovely collection of your grandmother Wanda Ast great art works. It so nice to see original batiks. I always associate batik with the 60's and 70's but as your hub states it draws on a very long tradition.

Voted up beautiful and tweeting.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you Michael. I am glad you enjoyed them. My apologies for being incommunicado for so long. Been involved in a project for awhile now that has swallowed a lot of my time. I hope and pray that you and Linda are doing well. Blessings. Theresa


lcbenefield profile image

lcbenefield 3 years ago from Georgia

Thanks for sharing your grandmother's work with us. I can tell how proud you are of her and her awesome talent. Do you do any batik work? Did your grandmother pass her artistic talent to you?


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Good Morning Icbenefield - Thank you for reading and commenting. I have never painted or done batiks and she did both, but I didn't inherit any of that talent. However, she was also a very good poet and had a facility with words even though English was her third language. And I am definitely a word and language person, bot in terms of academic prose and in terms of regular prose and poetry. Some of my poems are posted here on HP. Thank you for asking. Hope you have a great Sunday. :)


TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

TIMETRAVELER2 2 years ago

You always write such beautiful and informative articles. Loved this one!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you Sandy - She was so talented and interesting, she is very easy to write about. :)

My apologies again for being out of touch for so long. I cannot seem to organize myself and do all the things I need to do. I hope that you are well and you continue to gain physical strength and flexibility. Blessings. Theresa


techygran profile image

techygran 2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

Wow, what joy in inheriting your grandmother's gorgeous works of art and love! Your hub has just re-ignited in me a desire to try my hand at some batiks! I have some lovely African friends who told me about their techniques that included some half-baked plans to do the same in my backyard one summer. Soon! Voted up and pinned!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi techygran - My apologies for being so long in responding to your kind comments. It has been a joy and blessing to inherit things from my grandmother, and also my grandfather, who was a sculptor. By all means, you and your African friends should do some serious batiking together as soon as you cam. That would be lovely. And we will want to see pictures, too. Blessings! Theresa .


Au fait profile image

Au fait 22 months ago from North Texas

I thought of trying my hand at batik several years ago. I think it's so unique and beautiful. Your grandmother was so talented, and I'm glad you are sharing some of her work with all of us.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 22 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hello Au fait. Hope you are doing well. Like you I find batiks to be so beautiful, and because of my grandmother I know how much work they can be. It is not easy to do one and get the colors and the wax all just right. It is a great pleasure of mine to share her work. If HP had existed when she was alive, she would have been right here writing, reading, and posting with the rest ofus. :) Take care. Theresa


poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 21 months ago

The visual texture is interesting. Like veins in marble.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 20 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

She did use a lot of visual texture in her work. I love your comparison, because my grandfather, her husband, was a sculptor and frequent;y worked in marble. Hope you are having a great weekend and thanks for reading and commenting.

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    Theresa Ast (phdast7)543 Followers
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    Theresa Ast earned a PhD (Emory) in European History and has taught history for 20 years. "Confronting the Holocaust" available at AMAZON..



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