Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Peek at Our Batik...

We spent part of Good Friday dyeing Easter eggs. Every year I try to add a new twist to the traditional dye job. This year it was batik. I had scrawled the directions on a piece of paper and found it in one of my notebooks. I think I might have neglected to write down a step, because we had a couple of issues. But, we managed to turn them into our own version of batik.

First, I lit a candle and dripped the wax onto the hard boiled egg. Word to the wise: if you are going to try this, less is more. I repeat, less is more. (You'll see why in a bit).

After dripping the wax, dip egg into the dye. Once you remove it, you want to scrape the wax off. So I took a spoon and I scraped, and scraped, and scraped. And the egg cracked, and cracked, and cracked:

Here is where I realized that the less wax to scrape off, the better your chances of keeping the egg in one piece. My husband tried heating our second attempt in the microwave briefly, before I attempted scraping that one. Softening the wax just slightly helped immensely! Instead of gouging the egg with my spoon in vain, I was able to slide the edge of the spoon under the wax and it flaked off. We were left with a white design where the wax had been. You could either leave the egg as is at this point, or dip it again to color the white parts. We then chose to dip the egg in a secondary color:

And this was the result:

Frankly, this particular technique was a little too time-consuming for egg dyeing with a 3 year old and a 10 month old. So, with our last batik egg, we decided to leave the wax on the colored egg for a groovy, 3-dimensional look:

All in all, it was fun to try something new. Our batik eggs aren't going to win any beauty contests. The technique itself is not bad, it just needs some fine-tuning (or I just need to acquire the patience to scrape gently--a tedious task if you dripped as much wax onto the eggs as I did).

But as with most crafts with kids, if they enjoyed it, I'm happy. And they did enjoy it. Okay, the three year old in our life enjoyed it. What's not to love about colored dye, candle wax, and special egg dippers (like giant egg tweezers)? The 10 month old was clueless. Cute, but clueless. All he wanted to do was get his hands in that dye and eat the candle. :) A fun day.

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