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Posts Tagged ‘Ramayana’

I am getting ready to lead a group of batik artists and lovers from Britain into the world of Javanese batik. In a few days time they will be here in Jogyakarta where I am now making my final preparations.  Its something I have thought about doing for a long time, but I have been put off by the practicalities. How will soft European ladies react to the heat and humidity, the mosquitoes, the long flight, strange food, and the general poverty and degraded environment of Java?

Of course if you are a fanatic about wonderful textiles, and batik in particular, then these things can be put up with – at least thats what I’m hoping. Anyway 11 brave souls (plus 2 even braver husbands!) have put their faith in me and will be the willing guinea pigs for my first Java tour, which begins on Monday.

I have found a couple of great hotels with air conditioning, wifi, swimming pool and a recognisable breakfast, so we will all be comfortable.

I have planned some great hands on workshops – one day making cap batik (with copper stamps) in Batik Winotosastro – one of the most famous batik factories in Jogya, a hand drawn batik workshop in the village of Giriloyo with the ladies who make batik for the court of Jogya, and a three day masterclass with Nia and Agus Ismoyo of the Brahma Tirta Sari studio. These will all unforgettable experiences I’m pretty sure!

I’ve organised visits to canting makers, cap makers, and all manner of batik artists living in back street neighbourhoods where tourists never venture. We’re going to visit the famous Danar Hadi batik museum in Solo, markets, factories, palaces, temples, villages set in rice fields, ancient Royal tombs, volcanoes, performances of wayang kulit – leather shadow puppets shows and the Ramayana ballet – honestly I couldn’t squeeze in more if I tried!

Watch this space to find out how it all goes!

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