WIP Residency at the Textile Arts Center, New York
— July 2017
Exploring the relationship between digital fabrication and the time-consuming technique of resist dyeing, this project serves as a material study in the unfolding story of wax print.
Historically, due to globalisation and industrialisation, automated wax resist techniques were introduced and
new breeds of batik emerged. Merging and assimilating from two contrasting production methods—industrial
and hand craft—an innovation tool has been created that proposes a distinctive visual language.
The printer has been designed using only open source and standardised components, allowing it to be simply
and economically reproduced. In addition it is easy to disassemble and lightweight, enabling the user to transfer production outside of its usual contexts.
Unique patterns come in the form of data fed into the machine that are interpreted in it’s own particular ‘handwriting’, leaving behind traces of production similar to other resist techniques.
Wax cloth sits at many frontiers—it is at once a commodity, an archive, an image, a text, and a material object with distinct physical properties.
The cloth’s material value has been reengineered using the prevailing formula of bold visuals, crackle and offset.
Instead of entering the sartorial hierarchy of wax print fabric, our textiles exist in an alternative reality –
a parallel authorised channel of production developing a legitimate textile in its own right, with its own story to tell.