Silk Painting – How to Use a Tjanting with Soya Wax as a Resist

A tjanting is this amazing little tool you can see in the photo below and it is used traditionally in Indonesia to create beautiful patterns on fabric using melted wax.

My first ever tjanting for silk painting

Some of you will know that I treated myself to a tjanting a few weeks ago after eyeing them for a while. And the bottom line is that I’m so glad I did as I love it! So I’m going to share with you how I went about using it for the first time.

This first video shows the first one I bought myself ( a second one is due to arrive in the post tomorrow!):

I then stretched a piece of silk onto a wooden frame and set about melting some wax pellets in a pot, keeping them hot by placing the pot over a teapot stove with two tealights in it.

Here I am showing you how I created the first resist pattern in my painting:

I hold it much the same way I would hold a knife in my hand.

What tips can I share?

  • Even though this tjanting has a large pot, make sure you don’t fill it too full. I found it was good to have it level with the hole for the spout.
  • Lift it up and hold a piece of kitchen crepe underneath to catch the drips.
  • After every line you draw, hold the tjanting over the kitchen crepe again.
  • Don’t press hard on the silk. Just let the spout glide lightly over the silk in the same way you would draw resist lines with gutta.

You will clearly notice when you need to refill the pot. Just dip it into the fluid wax and allow it flow in.

I’m going to be sharing how I build up my layers in the next couple of blog posts, so watch out for the next instalment.

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