Upcycled Batik

2012-02-10 19.10.12I have always been that person. You know, the person you see grabbing furniture off the side of the road that someone else has thrown out. My husband jokes that I should have a bumper sticker that reads, “I brake for broken chairs.” And he’s totally right!

I take these hidden gems and try to save them. Sometimes I return them to their former glory, and other times, I completely reinvent them.

In 2009 I discovered the art of Batik. And I knew I had to combine it with my love for up-cycling furniture. Batik is an ancient method for creating fabric designs using wax resist and dyes. It goes back as far as ancient Egypt, but it has been mastered in Indonesia, where it is considered the national art form.

My batiks are made with traditional batik methods using dyes and a mixture of beeswax and paraffin wax as a resist. In a repetitive process, the dye and wax are used to create a unique design. With a crackle that is quintessentially “batik.”

Here are a few of my favorite projects!

The Rocking Chair of Life

This chair was love at first sight. I saw it, sitting on the side of the road, and knew that we were meant to be. It took over two years of pain-staking labor to turn this chair into the beautiful work of art you now see before you.

The original caning was removed, layers of bad varnish were stripped away, and the wood was sanded and re-stained to coordinate with the beautiful piece of batik fabric used as the seat. Next, the back rest was woven, by hand, using two types of hemp to create a comfortable, function, and beautiful back rest.

2014-08-26 12.59.092014-08-26 12.59.262014-08-26 12.59.43Last, the fabric seat was added. The seat design was inspired by traditional Celtic designs and the Tree of Life.

This is one of my all-time favorite creations!

 

 

Van Gogh’s Almond Blossom Chair

2012-01-02 12.59.41This chair was a delightful surprise. There it was, sitting on the side of the road on New Year’s Day! Covered in a gross olive green velvet fabric. Unloved, forgotten, and unwanted. But with beautiful lines and great potential, I knew I had to take it home.

It took over six months to transform that ugly, beat-up, piece of green velvet stained “garbage” into a functional work of art. The horrendous green velvet fabric was removed, layers of bad varnish were stripped away, and the wood was sanded and re-stained to coordinate with the beautiful piece of batik fabric used as the seat.

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The Ocean Waves Chair

2014-04-18 18.43.18This chair was one of the saddest things I’d ever seen. There it was, sitting on the side of the road. Covered in ripped and torn fabric with the most hideous design of alpine skiers. Out of place (we live at the shore!) and unloved, but with beautiful lines and great oaken potential, I knew I had to take it home.

It didn’t take long to turn this chair into a beautiful piece. The horrendous 1970s Aspen-inspired skier fabric was removed, layers of bad varnish were stripped away, and the wood was sanded and re-stained using a pickled oak stain to coordinate with the beautiful piece of batik fabric used as the seat.

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