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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 8:51 am 
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I have been researching Emulation. It was an initiative of Quirien A.A. Krijnen in The Hague in 1911. It appears to have been a small, somewhat elite craft school. In 1915 he moved to the Netherlands East Indies and settled in Weltevreden, Batavia with his wife, Nelly Surie. They re-opened the Emulation batik studio in 1917 claiming that they had perfected their 'craft package' for batik on silk for sale. Their market was primarily Dutch housewives. They supplied cold liquid wax, dyes, brushes, fabric and patterns. Products made with the technique include scarves, collars and cuffs, table runners, tea cozies, lamp shades and the like. The technique was a huge craze that lasted through the 20's and then….utterly disappeared.

I wonder if anybody has any samples of painting on silk from the teens or twenties from Indonesia? In fact, it was painting on silk and not batik. Wax came into the picture only to separate the sections of colour so they didn't flow into each other, hence the name 'batik', but it really was painting on silk. Alas, these would not have been collectors' items -- but perhaps samples may be found in old dresses or antique lamps.

I have not been able to discover when the cold wax substance and technique were discovered/developed. It does not appear to have been used in the USA when batik emerged there. What was the cold wax substance? The Krijnens sold it in little bottles and applied it with a brush.

Not to be eschewed as "just kitschy craft", 'Emulation' is an interesting piece of the puzzle in the development of batik outside Indonesia. Between 1890 and 1920 all manner of experiments were conducted to explore and adapt the batik technique in art and daily life.

I am very curious if anybody has run up against any of the Emulation products, from raw materials to finished 'batik'. :?:


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:25 am 
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Hi Sandra

What is used today for a resist when painting on silk to outline a design and stop the dyes mixing is 'gutta'. I used it back in the 1960s/70s when I did some silk painting. It was a fashionable craft to do at that time. I had a look on-line for a definition of gutta and was interested to find this:
Quote:
GUTTA
Solvent based Gutta is a thick substance that is made from latex (supposedly derived from Indonesian rubber trees or Gutta Percha). It is used almost exclusively for the French Serti Technique of painting on silk. Gutta comes in clear, black, gold metallic, silver metallic and several colors.
It has a rubbery feel to it in contrast to the smooth drape of silk. For clothing, like scarves, the gutta should be removed when the scarf is finished. For a wall hanging, it doesn't matter. When a project is done and you want to remove the gutta from the fabric, you can only do so by dry cleaning. Gutta is thinned (carefully!) and cleaned up with Gutta solvent.
(This was on the http://www.dharmatrading.com/techniques/gutta.html ).

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:09 am 
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Hi Sandra

You probably already know this but Rudolf Smend, owner of the Gallery Smend in Cologne, http://www.smend.de/ has been involved not only with Indonesian batik but also painting on silk and self-published various publications on both batik and painting on silk. I have just read this in his personal statement on his introduction to Batik in his latest publication "Batik Traditional Textiles of Indonesia: from the Rudolf Smend and Donald Harper Collections" which I am currently reviewing. If you are not already in touch with him about your current research it could well be worth contacting him.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:51 am 
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Thanks, Pamela! I will do that! Yesterday I spoke with Maria Wronska Friend and Renske Heringa and that was most helpful. It is clear that the history of 'coletan' has not been written, the use of wax to outline sections to be painted with synthetic colour. Probably the cold wax technique was invented in Germany. Perhaps Rudolf will know. Many thanks for the heads up -- and also for your own story of gutta. I read in places that a 'glue-like substance' is used. That sounds like what you used. How did you thin it? What fluid did you use?

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:16 pm 
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It's a few decades since I used gutta! I think that I bought it in a bottle and it was already thinned to the correct consistency to use. It was part of a (then fashionable) silk painting kit. I always find it fascinating how something is fashionable, then disappears only to reappear many years later taking advantage of any relevant technical 'advances' in the interim.

Maria Wronska Friend has written the captions to the batik photos in the book I am reviewing. I found her comments very helpful. When I have finished my review I will make a post on the Books.... section of the forum with some information on the book as I think it is a very useful addition to the literature on batik.

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