I got an email a week or so ago from Dharma Trading Company, letting me know that a shipment of tjaps had arrived! So I immediately dropped everything, went to the site, and spent the next twenty minutes paging through 400 beautiful designs.
But what is a tjap, you ask? It’s a copper stamp used in Indonesian batik to apply hot wax to fabric. The wax acts as a resist, so when you dye the fabric later, the stamped pattern emerges. That pattern can be very complex. But beyond their utilitarian function, tjaps are beautiful! I have been guiltily collecting them, especially the rarer animal designs. Here are the five I bought:
I confess that I have never successfully used a tjap with wax. When I’ve tried, the images come out blurry, the wax runs all over, and the end result looks atrocious. But with five more beauties in my collection, I will have to try again! But even if I can’t make it work with wax, they can be used in all sorts of other ways.
Speaking of things that can be used in all sorts of other ways, my modest little design wall – foam covered in flannel – seems to have been repurposed by a certain way-too-beautiful-and-mischievous cat as a climbing wall. Here she is, making her way up the wall:
Alarmingly, she was after the pins I had left stuck in the wall. She loves to pull pins out of things and drop them on the floor – apparently it’s the best game ever! But the spoilsport human immediately dropped everything, took out all the pins, and put them away. Game over. (Whew! A trip to the vet would have been no fun at all.)