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Java Arts & Crafts

ABOUT BATIK
Java produces the world's finest batik. A traditional method of decorating cloth, batik is an art of great antiquity. Java's principal batik centers are Yogyakarta, Solo, Pekalongan, Cirebon, Tasikmalaya, Indramayu, Garut, and Lasem.

Batik Tulis
The most prized and expensive batik, batik tulis are usually drawn on fine cotton, linen or silk. Finely detailed designs are sometimes first drawn free-hand with a pencil on the textile. Then hot liquid wax, iimpervious to dye, is applied with a pen-like instrument called a canting, which has one, two or three spouts and a small bowl on top which is dipped into the hot wax. Are not slated for coloring are filled in with wax. The cloth is then passed through a vat of dye. The wax is removed with hot water, scraped from the portions of the dried material still to be dyed. Next, other areas are waxed over. This is repeated during each phase of the coloring process,up to four or more times, until the overall pattern adn effect are achieved. A batik tulis could require up to 40 days to complete.

Batik Cap
This is a faster and cheaper method, using the same traditional patterns. Cooper stamps (cap) are used to impress wax patterns onto the fabric. Cap are made from strips of metal and wire meticulously soldered together, and are themselves collector's items and art objects.

Designs
Batik designs are as infinite and variegated as Javanese society itself. You find crazy quilt patterns, circles, ovals, rosette shapes, stars, flowering tendrills, checkered and round patterns, rhombuses, wavy lines, S-like flourishes, swastikas, and birdtails.

Colors
Historically, batik has employed natural organic dyes. Indigo is the oldest dye. In the 19th century, Europeans introduced synthetic dyes which are now widely used. Colors still differentiate certain regions : turkey red for Sumatra, blue-black from Indramayu. Yogyakarta and Solo hold to the official court colors : indigo, dark browns, deep blues, and maroon - colors of dignity. West Javanese batik is punctuated by golden yellows andlight browns with rich,dark, blackish-blue backgrounds. Modern batik makes use of multicolored combinations. back to the top

HANDICRAFTS
Never leave Indonesia without any handicrafts in your hands. The best silverware will be in Kotagede near Yogyakarta. Metal crafts could be found at Cisaat, a small village near Sukabumi (West Java). In Tasikmalaya, especially in Rajapolah is the center of rattan handicrafts (from fashionable bags, purses, hats to home furnishing and cute souvenirs). Do not forget the batik cloth. Every single place like Yogyakarta, Solo, Pekalongan has its own style.

WAYANG
Wayang (puppet) performance is also interesting to watch. In Central Java, the puppet is made from leather called Wayang Kulit with the Dalang as the puppet master, you will see the fight, the wisdom or the jokes in Javanese language. You see the shadow of the puppet through a big screen with a torch to give a mysticism effect. The story is usually from the epic of Ramayana or Mahabrata.

West Java have its own puppet performance called Wayang Golek. This wayang puppet made from wood with colorful clothes.Through a stick attached in the puppet's hands, the puppet master will play the puppet attractively and humorous. The puppet can do martial arts, smoking cigarette and other tricks. back to the top

 

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