Batiks, shells and furry worm flowers…

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Yesterday was a wonderful day of learning and discovery. When I awoke I cleaned a bit, bottle up kombucha that is ready for drinking, washed a few last things and hung them to dry, then took the paddle board in to shore to collect some shells for my Mom. She asked that I collect shells for her from all over the world as we travel. My first day of collecting ended with these…I wish my friend from Hawaii, Denise, was here to name them for me! I guess we need a shell book.

When someone dies they talk of going toward the light to heaven. I think I found that path today, and took a photo of it.

I’ve always been fascinated with the Batik process, and wanted to educate the creatures and myself on it, so we caught a cab to the Callebra Batik Factory. Our driver took us through downtown Bassatere on the way and showed us some historical sights. So many old buildings made from hand cut basalt.

Right outside the Batik Factory is the old Sugar Factory, also from basalt. Part of the structure still stands proudly, its walls carrying silent tales of sweat, success, heartache, friendships and enemies within its walls.

It would have been interesting to be there back in the day, to catch a glimpse of the action.

Rum was made here too. Our driver told us of Moonshine and rum and the kick they carry.

My first thoughts when seeing the Batik factory, took me back to when we were in Pennsylvania with the Amish quilt shops. Beautiful work hanging on clothes lines and grounds kept clean and perfectly manicured.

We were introduced to Gloria, who demonstrated the batik process. First a drawing is made onto the fabric with pencil so the outlines can be followed. Next, a mixture of bees wax and paraffin wax is prepared and painted on to the fabric in areas that the artist wants kept white.

Gloria had 3 small pots of melted wax to work with.

The fabric is then placed in a cold area to harden the wax.

Once the wax is hard and dry, the fabric is dyed. Here she is holding batik with cracked dry wax with one dye color on it. Some batik have the one dye color and some are more detailed with several colors. If more color is added, another wax layer is first painted on in areas that need to remain the color of the first dye.

These are examples of numerous dyes for one batik.

Finally, the fabric is taken and boiled. All wax floats to the surface and can be used again. The fabric is hung out to dry and the beautiful colors can be seen. A true batik is reversible because the wax and dye seeps through to the back side.

In the factory store, they sell clothing, wraps, bags, ties, etc etc.

We didn’t purchase anything but it was awfully tempting!

Out on the grounds, we saw some interesting plants, including some that resembled fuzzy worms, called a Chenille flower.

There were also odd looking pods that resemble rambutan.

The twins were excited to see spores on the back of fern fronds, as they have been studying about them in Biology.

We looked out over the dense rainforest. The monkeys were all asleep since it was the hot part of the day, but it was fun knowing they were out there.

Our driver told us about this 400 year old tree. It looked perfect for climbing, tree houses and forts.

Danny had a successful day getting a few things done that the need to. He will return to us late tonight, and tomorrow we will sail to Nevis to checkout. It’s going to be wonderful to have him home once again. As for today, I’m not sure yet what we will be doing, but whatever it is, it will be fun. The wind is blowing quite strong, and the coolness it brings feels good. The only thing that would make it better is a bag of peanut M&M’s!


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