Wax On; Wax Off

– Posted in: Inspiration, Workshops
Soy wax batik cloth

The phrase has come into our lexicon from the 1984 movie The Karate Kid (omg–it has been 30 years!) when the mild-mannered handyman who is also a Karate master teaches young Daniel the martial arts through cleaning and waxing his car.

I became curious about the phrase and wondered if it had a deeper meaning. Could it apply to leaning soy wax batik? After all, I have my class Waxing Eloquent coming up in April, (see here) and maybe it is worth thinking about…

Soy Wax Batik: the process of adding wax and dye to cloth

waxing in process

Of course I headed to Google, where I soon found a site where commenters debated the underlying meanings.

A number of commenters felt the purpose of the Daniel’s assigned chores was to learn the muscle memory of martial arts moves.

Waxing cloth

Donna begins the process.

Others felt that it meant more; that a skeptical student learns to trust the master, and learns that mastery is a commitment to a lifelong process.student batik workstudent batik work

Still others felt that it referenced the Zen art of meditation–finding a mediation in everything that you do, whether it is practice sessions and formal lessons, or something as simple as daily chores.Painting waxed cloth

I know that when we come to class to learn batik with soy wax, I will not lead the class in meditation! However, I also know that making marks with the warm molten wax and building layers of color will be a meditation in its own right, and that working with the materials will be joyous as it never fails to reach the deeper parts of my mind.Soy wax batik cloth

So I guess that is my meditation for today! I hope you enjoyed these images from past classes, some of my class examples, and some student work from class.Soy wax batik cloth

Do you love dipping into the wax, too?

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