TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

TAFA Market Focus: David Lucht

"Fortunate Son of Fez", Batik by David Lucht, 19"x 29"   $1,250

TAFA is having its first public event during the AQS Quilt Show in Paducah.  We are excited to introduce TAFA to the public at large and are hoping to raise funds for our new website.   We have a silent auction and raffle, both available to online participants and an exhibit and vendors.   These are ways in which you can donate to support our efforts.  This blog will feature the works and vendors in the next two weeks.  You can see all of the TAFA Market posts in one place by clicking on this link

Today's TAFA Market focus zooms in on:

David Lucht

"La Madre de Nosostros Todo", Batik by David Lucht, 30"x27"  $2450

David is probably THE BEST BATIK ARTIST I have ever met.  And, we happen to live in the same town, so I get to see him and his wife, Stefanie Graves, every now and then.  Stefanie is also a talented artist, watercolors, and as both are world travelers, there is some overlap in the subject choices: people, society, nature...   They share a website, Cowango, with David on one side and Stefanie on the other.  David actually wrote a post for this blog some time ago.  Find it here.

Here is how David describes his experience with his batiks:

My approach to batik painting elevates this ancient craft to fine art. Batik originated in the world of craft where people create objects that contribute a sense of grace and beauty to their daily lives. I try to bring forward that history of desire for commonplace beauty and use it as a support in developing my own imagery.

In batik the image and the cloth become a fully integrated thing. There is no surface decoration in batik. The image is established in the fiber of the cloth. I find that to be a very powerful idea.

Batik painting offers solutions for me. It provides an escape valve that allows me to see the history of art differently. It comes from the world of craft and that appeals to me in many ways: as communal, as beauty in the utilitarian, as an open ended alternative. Batik is undiscovered territory. It has magical qualities of obscurity and revelation. The finished work is only seen in its entirety at the very end of the process, when the wax is removed and the image revealed.

The trademark cracks and wax resist areas in David's batiks are very subtle.  As he describes, these are more like paintings than drawings, which is what most of the batiks I am familiar with use.  Lines of wax are drawn or images are stamped on to a fabric with wax or resist, then various dyes are applied.  For those of you who are not familiar with the batik process, here is an example of a textile I carried in my Etsy shop:

In this case, the face was painted with ink on white fabric, then all of the areas that are white were covered with wax, the ocher color was added, then that was covered with wax, then the brown dye, then the black.  This is a quickie in the batik world, but still quite a bit of work.  

I have batik tools, the wax, textile stamps galore and I always kid myself that someday I will play with these and get fun results.  I only tried it once so far and for the life of me could not control the wax.  It looked like a two year old had gotten into my supplies.  So, I have great respect for anyone who can make clean batik designs.

But David is on another level.  Each piece takes him weeks of careful labor.  He often batiks on silk which gives the finished piece a subtle sheen.  Absolutely gorgeous!

"Bodnath Market" by David Lucht, 26"x 24"   $850

David and Stefanie will actually be hosting two of our TAFA members who have vending spaces in our TAFA Market.  All of them have connections around the world through travel and work.  So, they will have plenty to talk about!  

The three batiks shown in this post will be on exhibit at our event.  If you would like to purchase any of them and are not coming to Paducah, you can do so via Pay Pal.  Just email me and I will give you the details.  We will ship to you after the show.

For those of you who are coming, David also has a wonderful piece at the Yeiser Art Center, just around the corner from where we will be.  They have a show, Fantastic Fibers, which will be up through April.  I was there for the opening reception and it is a great show.  I even got David long enough to have him talk a bit about the piece he has there.  Then, another half a block and you will find Antique Galleria at 212 Broadway.  Both David and Stefanie will have a few pieces of their work there.  That is also where I have my year-around booth, filled with ethnic textiles and other good stuff.  So, in just a short walk, you have several stops to make to enjoy some Cowango!


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