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This enabled the use of the "janting", a pen-like instrument that essentially allows an artist to draw wax on to the fabric, creating elaborate motifs. Combined with multiple colorations and boilings (to remove the wax), these pieces come alive with incredible dimensionality. In many cases it actually took more than 6 months (!) for an artist to create one sarong (a little more than 2 yards of cloth). Many were completely waxed on one side, and then turned over and waxed on the other side as well. It still gives me shivers when I see a certain piece of work, knowing that such a thing of beauty was not only completed over such a long period of time using wax, color, and boiling water; but was the result of a wonderful, premeditated sense of creativity on the artist's part.
Magic Cloth indeed!
Rudy Huston & Mary Vaughn Williams Back