Tropi Turtle's Batik Workshop, 02 March 2014
Last Sunday was the first time for me to organize a Batik workshop. It was also the first time for the tiny workshop of Polhena's little Batik shop Donal Batik.
I went with three girls from Austria, one from Germany and with my son Wiene.
Since long i wanted to organize Batik workshops.
I visited some long established Batik shops in Matara.
One of them was already organizing workshops.
These shops seemed already been doing well without
Then i saw the faded sign of Donal Batik in Polhena
The sign has been replaced this summer, but still its
more a family house where they show you some Batiks
than a real shop.
It took me some time to explain what a workshop is.
That foreign tourists would actually wanna make some
thing themselves, working for it.
some thing a Sri Lankan would not be interested in.
But when they understood, they said they could do it.
Long time i was too busy to check it out myself, so
when the day came my guests asked for it, i was still a
little bit unsure if the would be able to explain it all in
But apart from the funny little mistake of mixing coffee
and tea together when i hoped for both, Donal Batik
did a great job last Sunday.
it is definitely an activity to recommend.
Not only will you have a nice day and a selfmade
souvenir to bring home, you are also supporting a
small village entrepreneur.
Curvy backroads took us to a hamlet about 5 km from
The workshop was a low wooden house/shack
in wich some of the familymembers lived.
We were welcomed in an open area, were we soon
began drawing our designs on a big table.
They had some ready made designs available, but the
girls were far to creative for that and had apparently
all a well thought out plan about what they were
going to make.
They were so eager to do some active work that
when we after an hour or so were offered coffee,
they politely refused.
I made a design for TropiTurtle's first uniform skirt.
The girls all made very complicated and creative
designs and had several colours in mind.
I didn't expect that at all, i thought that maybe i had
to come up with some ideas.
I think even the people from the Batik shop were
impressed by the final outcome.
After the design we went sitting around the hot wax
pots and were thaught how to put on the first layer
everything untherneath this first layer stays white.
We put on the wax with sort of a brush made out of
Then it was time for lunch, fried rice. Food and drinks
all was included.
coffee, cakes, buns more than we could eat.
After lunch we went back to work.
After the first layer of wax came the first colourbath.
Then drying and another layer of wax.
At several moments the familymembers came to check
if we were still using the proper techniques and to
show us how to make it better.
They also thought along with the outcome of the
design the girls were making and thaught everyone
the techniques that best fitted their design.
I had someone standing by to babysit Wiene, cause i
didn't expect that Wiene would want to stay the
But Wiene didn't get bored, there were children
around and at the end of the day they had become
friends. TropiTurtle's Esther