The artist at work. Personalizing a leatherbound journal.


Looking for  great clothing items and fashion accessories,
 then seek out ART FABRIK, a wonderful fashion boutique, 
when you get down to the Caribbean island nation of Grenada.
You might recall that in 1983 the United States led an invasion 
to successfully restore a constitutional government 
after a bloody military coup had ousted a revolutionary government
 and put American medical students in danger.
 A view of an uphill street in the capital of Grenada, St. George.

 Welcoming sign in from of the Boutique

  Ask for the owners, Chris and Nilo

While on a recent vacation to the Caribbean, VIrginia and I ran across this wonderful boutique in the capital city of Grenada, St. George. It is located on Young Street.
The Art Fabrik creative team makes batik fashion and accessories for men, women and children. They employe a number of graduates from the School for the Deaf in Grenada and communicate with each other by lip reading, sign language and mime. They encourage and support local crafters by combining elements of their craft with elements of batik to produce unique end products. 
They also have a really great looking selection of jewellery featured in their botique as well.

 Colorful as well as beautiful. Dyedfabrics drying in the tropical breeze.

 A view down a side alley, showing drying area and dyes.

Virgina and I were invited to take a tour of their facility to see the batik process first hand. They make batik essentially the same as it was done centuries ago. Using a mixture of paraffin, beeswax and recycled wax melted in a double boiler. A classic batik tool is repeatedly dipped into the hot wax and applied or painted onto the fabric. When the waxed design is complete the art piece is ready to dye. The wax acts as a resist, and the areas that are decorated with wax do not accept the dye colour. The waxing and dyeing is repeated for each new colour. It is a labour intensive job to dip it in and out of hot - cold - hot - cold - hot - cold until all the wax is melted out and the fabric is smooth and clean like it was at the start of the batik process. Wax is like grease and will float on the surface of the water. This wax is scooped off (like degreasing a soup) and recycled to use again.

 Dyes in bottles. Beautiful. Even more beautiful on the fabriks.

Batik artists at work applying the hot wax.
All of the creative work is done by hand and so no two pieces are exactly alike. The folks at  Art Fabrik calculate an average of one week's worth of time to make a piece from start to finish. Beauty takes time and effort!