My name is Terry Pofahl and I am a contemporary batik artist. I first fell in love with batik in high school under the instruction of a very gifted and enthusiastic art teacher. I feel very fortunate to have studied with her at Rancocas Valley High School in Mt. Holly and be a part of one of the most comprehensive high school art programs in the county. As I began college, life took over and the block of paraffin on the back shelf began to collect dust. Soon I began to raise my family. In the early 90s I started stamping cards and became a distributor. I feel that this was a turning point with my art since it brought me back through a creative venue. After a year of doing this, I questioned myself, wondering what I was doing drawing, coloring, and detailing these little cards.
Spontaneously, I pulled a sheet out of the linen closet and drew a very gnarly fish on it. I dusted off that paraffin to create my first batik since 1975. More than 20 years had passed. The batik was rough but I was thrilled and engaged and felt like I had somehow fed my soul through this fascinating process. I found that the process was quite loose and that detail was easily lost if you do not make adjustments. My love for color and detail pushed me to develop a method to retain both in this medium. There is surrender involved. It is necessary to allow and to rely on the process to do the work.
I continued to feed my soul and now share my process through my workshops.
What is Batik?
Batik is the ancient and fascinating process of wax resist textile art. Heated wax is applied to fabric before it is cracked and dipped into dye. The wax resists the dye preventing it from absorbing into the fabric. The cracks create veins into which the dye seeps. The wax is later ironed out to reveal stunning results. One does not have to be artistic in the conventional sense to create beautiful batiks.