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TRADITIONAL AFRICAN BATIK with Gasali Adeyemo
"Batik is the process of creating designs using wax. The name that we call batik in the Yoruba tribe is adire alabela, which means wax resist. The wax can be applied to the fabric using wood stamps, stencils, or foam rubber. In my culture we primarily use foam rubber to apply the design to the fabric free hand.
The primary dye I use in my workshops is Indigo.. Indigo is an organic substance, it comes from the indigo plant which grows wild in Nigeria. During the beginning of the rainy season the leaves are harvested and then dried. After they have dried they are formed into little balls which are then used to prepare the dye.The Yoruba name for indigo is “elu”. Indigo has been used as a dye in Africa for at least 2000 years. Since the olden days indigo has been used for medicine as well as a dye; it cures an upset stomach. Indigo is also used to ward off viruses; houses are painted with indigo to prevent the sickness from entering.
After the fabric has been dyed, the wax must be removed. When removing the wax from a piece that has been dyed the fabric should be almost dry so that the color has time to set. To remove the wax, the fabric must be put into a large pot of boiling water to which 3 or 4 tablespoons of a mild, bleach free detergent has been added. The fabric is then hung out to dry."
Materials students must provide: 2 or more yards of PFD cotton for the class. PFD means “prepared for dyeing”. PFD cloth can be purchased or prepared by washing the fabric with detergent and making sure no finishing chemicals, such as fabric softener, are left in the cloth. The cloth can be white or a light color.
Note: Materials fee of $25 includes Indigo, wax and tools.
Gasali Onireke Adeyemo is the third born of five from a small rural village, Ofatedo, located in Osun State Nigeria. His mother is a trader and father, a farmer. "Although my family was rich in spirit and culture, we were poor in capital and I sponsored my own education." Gasali realized his artistic potential at a very young age when he would attend social gatherings, such as weddings, naming and burial ceremonies, offering to sketch portraits of the guest, for a small donation. His sketching career combined with long days working on village farms provided adequate income to successfully complete his academic education through high school.
Gasali then turned his attention to improving his artistic potential, and discovered the Nike Center for Arts and Culture. Here he mastered the arts of batik painting on fabric, indigo dyeing, quilt making, embroidery, appliqué, and batik painting on rice paper, and began teaching workshops on the crafts of his culture.
As the popularity of the Nike Center grew, hundreds of people came to Osogbo, Nigeria from all over the world. He and five other artists from Nigereia were invited to exhibit there work in Bayreuth, Germany. His artwork was well received and his caree began to bloom.
Gasali first traveled to America when he was invited to the University of Iowa to do a series of exhibitions and workshops. There he began working with teenagers conducting storytelling and art workshops, and sharing the traditions of his Yoruba culture. This opened the door to even greater opportunities traveling the world to conduct workshops and exhibitions, including the World Batik Conference, Cross Culture Collaborative Inc., Snow Farm, and the Espanola Valley Fiber Arts Center.
This class requires a minimum of 2 students for the class to run. See our Class Payment and Refund Policy.
Non-Member: $200 (Member $175)
Material Fee: $25
Material fee is paid at first class meeting.