Not My Ordinary Saturday Morning

When the youngsters of Jakarta are talking about weekends, they usually talk about Malls, Restaurants, Movies, Football Matches, Dating, etc. But this week, I can proudly say that I have a wonderful and unique weekend, by experiencing an activity I’ve never thought I’d do before : Membatik.

Yes, I was attending an event organized by Mrs Indra Tj, My English lecturer at the university. It was held in Museum Bank Mandiri, and the event begin at 10AM.

The event begins with Mrs Indra presenting a wonderful 40-minutes presentation of Batik. I could say that it’s wonderful because I learnt a lot of new things about Batik, such as types of Batik based on it’s origins, and also the meaning behind every Batik. It never occured to me that there are THAT much beautiful meaning behind every Batik motifs, and it’s even more wonderful because most of the Batik are inspired by nature.

After the presentation, each participant received a cloth with pre-drawn ornaments in it. Some of my friend got cloth with drawings of chicken, butterflies, and a lot of other things. I got a cloth with a beautiful bird ornament, which has a very long and beautiful feathers. I guessed it was a peacock.

Then it’s time to do what I’ve been waiting for since the beginning of the event : Getting my hands on Canting and begin drawing on the cloth available. My class was separated into groups of five, and each group received a stove with burning Malam in it. At first, Mrs Indra’s assistant (who actually is her niece, if I ain’t mistaken), taught my group how to use the Canting, and we were asked to start practicing on newspapers before moving on to the real cloth.

I always knew that Membatik is not easy, and after I tried to do it by myself, I knew I have always been right about it. It was not easy at all! To be honest, I really struggled at mastering the technique of using Canting. I spent the first 30 minutes practicing on how to use the Canting, and it costs me a lot of error in the drawing, including a massive splat of Malam in the side of the cloth.

After that 30 minutes, my friend Maxie has finished his job. I was surprised that he could do it pretty quick and easy. Then I realized something : There is something wrong with my Canting. Unlike my friends’ Canting, my Canting’s mouth is a lot bigger. Not only big, it is also perfectly straight, unlike my friends who has a curve in the mouth of Canting.

The quick solution to the problem is to use Maxie’s Canting. Once I used his Canting, I finally started to enjoy the moment. I could then draw my peacock comfortably, and in about 40 minutes, I finished the work with Canting, and I could then begin the next step of Batik creation : Coloring the Batik.

I didn’t do really much on Coloring the Batik, instead of choosing which color to use. I just put the cloth I’ve drawn into a box of water, and another assistant of Mrs Indra finished the job for me. I managed to see what he’s doing, tough. He basically put the Batik into the pile of coloring materials, and the cloth became blue, while the part that was drawn with Canting is becoming white. Then the cloth is basked with the sun.

I wasn’t really satisfied with my Batik, especially because of the struggles I faced in the beginning of Membatik. If Membatik is about controlling my mind, then I realized that I need to work on that a little bit more. If there is another chance to do this again, I will surely take it and hopefully my next Batik will be better than this one.

*More photos coming soon..

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