Antoinette Ablordey is one of the first artists to make batiks in Ghana and I was lucky enough to stay with her for the final two weeks of my Watson year.
Under her guidance, I learned how to make batiks the Ghanaian way, with blocks of Adinkra shaped stamps and "wax pens" cut out of foam.
Sometimes the best things in life are free and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that such a simple tool as foam could be so effective for drawing with wax. These sponges don't drip like tjanting tools, hold more wax then brushes and have more qualitative line potential then metal coils.
Here are a few of the wax stamps I cut out of foam.
Antoinette merges tie-dye and batik in her t-shirts.
A few finished pieces:
Ghanaians love to dance!
Below is a batik influenced by the Asante Akua'ba doll - one of the most traditional of African sculptures. Do you see the big round head and flat columnar body? Figures like this were carried by girls and women to promote their fertility and to ensure the beauty and health of their offspring.
My final "farewell" batik to the Watson Fellowship with adinkra symbols that represent what I have gained from this year. The road was long and at times difficult -but with endurance, strength, independence, perseverance, wisdom, etc., I made it across the finish line. What an incredible journey it has been!