Welcome to my batik studio.
The name Batikwalla came along in 2009 when I had to pick something for my Etsy shop. Up until then, I sold out of a booth at festivals and craft fairs with no signage at all. So what do I name my website? Something not taken, that's what I was thinking. Okay, so way back in 1987 I found a dress stored away in my grandmother's attic with the name Batikwalla on it. I was really into vintage clothes and unique fashion, I kept the dress and still have it to this day. Amazingly enough, I actually met the woman (online) who designed the dress and owned the boutique my mother shopped at in the late 60's. After closing shop she opened up a bunch of yoga studios and it was one of her employees that started buying my batik yoga pants that caught her eye, and wow kinda surprised to see the name Batikwalla on my website given her history with her eclectic clothing boutique. So you can imagine the surprise we both had when we made the connection via email. Today she is happy to see the name carry on and is now a loyal customer of my batik shop!
The story doesn't even stop here, but let's let it be for now.
I'm sure you know what batik is.
But just in case... Batik is a fiber art technique that uses beeswax as a resist to paint designs on fabric. How did I learn to batik? I am entirely self taught, which started very early in life. As a kid I was intrigued by craft books and magazines that were so popular in the 70's and 80's. The pictures got me thinking of a dreamy "hippie" world out there. As a teenager already not impressed with conventional society, I hopped onto a train to Oregon fresh from the east coast. For better or worse, I found myself in a strange new place that was prime for creative exploration. The first thing on my list was to learn how to batik.
In the fine year of 1989, I checked out books from the local library (remember those?), and spent about $100 gathering supplies so I could learn batik. With my first brush stroke of molten wax I knew I was onto something. I painted every piece of fabric I could get my hands on. Anything that could hold liquid became a container for dye, including pots and pans, the only bathtub in the house, and every sink with a stopper, which was two, but they worked.
Word of mouth got out and I began to sell my new boho batik hippie style tshirts to people in the neighborhood. More sales came through funky craft fairs and colorful music festivals, including the Eugene Saturday Market and the Oregon Country Fair, and my most favorite, the parking lot scene of the Grateful Dead concerts. This is how it all began. Once I tapped into the creative process, there was no turning back, and I have pursued it intently ever since.
Please watch out for fake pages and sites pretending to be me.