Saturday, November 26, 2011

Commissioned Gyotaku Batik Napkins

I made this set of eight napkins for a friend on commission. They will be headed to New Zealand as a gift!
To make them, I sewed the squares of muslin to finish the edges, then hand-printed them with yellow perch. First I dyed the fabric yellow, then waxed out the fish etc. with soy wax. Next, I dyed the fabric Aqua-Marine, but because of the underlying yellow, it came out more of a spring green color. I removed the wax by ironing it out into newspaper. In the past I have boiled out the wax, which leaves less wax residue behind, but the process is more time intensive and cumbersome, and I was crunched for time. I think when people see something like this, it is hard for them to appreciate just how many steps and how much time it takes to accomplish it.
I also gyotaku-batiked a few handkerchiefs I had printed with a brook-trout. Once I finish the edges, I'll probably post one in my Etsy shop and have one for sale in the gallery.


  1. Gorgeous napkins! I can't imagine all the time and effort that goes into your creations!
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  2. I too can only imagine the time and effort. Wow Gretchen, so beautiful - and how cool to think they went to N.Z.!!!