Marilyn Salomon

Batik Art

Marilyn Salomon is a batik artist whose work is known for its intricate detail. Using the ancient, traditional Indonesian process of drawing with hot wax then dyeing the fabric, she creates her batiks. Each piece contains from ten to twenty-five separate dye baths and sometimes more. Her love of “western life” and Native American traditions led her to move to the Tonto National Forest in Arizona with her husband Chuck. Through her friendship and experiences with Native Americans, she is able to depict their traditions on a more intimate level in her artwork.

Available Works

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In 1965 she graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles. She traveled to Israel in 1970, where she studied with prominent batik teacher Miram Ariav.

A recipient of many awards, including first place in the 2006 Phippen Museum Show, Marilyn has lectured and led workshops at universities, museums and conferences all over the world. She has been an invitational artist for the Peppertree Ranch Art Show in Santa Ynez, California, as well as the World Batik Conference in Boston. Marilyn has had several museum shows and also served as co-curator. Marilyn was selected for the special Millennium edition ofWho’s Who in American Women, as well as Who’s Who in America, and Who’s Who in the World. Her work is published in Batiks for Artists and Quilters and can be found in private, corporate and government collections worldwide.

Selected Exhibitions and Invited Guest Lectures

  • 2011 International Batik Exhibition, “Fiber Face 3”, Indonesia
  • 2010 Lecture on Batik, National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, Fort Worth, Texas
  • 2008 Featured Artist, Galleries West, Jackson, Wyoming
  • 2007 Winners Round-Up, Phippen Art Museum, Prescott, Arizona

About Batik

Batik is an ancient form of resist dyeing on fabric. Although its origins are somewhat unclear, fragments of batik have been discovered in Egyptian tombs dating back to the 4th century BC. Batik fabrics from the 7th century AD have been discovered in China, where rice paste was used as the resist. The word “batik” originates from an Indonesian phrase, meaning “wax writing”, and was adopted into English in the 17th century.

In creating my work, I use the traditional process of applying wax to areas of the fabric that are to be protected during immersion in a dye bath. As the layer of wax hardens on the surface of the cloth, it “resists” the dye. I begin by submerging the fabric in the lightest dye-bath first. When the fabric dries, wax is then reapplied to the areas that are to remain the first dye color, then the fabric is submerged into the second dye-bath. The process repeats many times over, sometimes up to 25-60 colors for a single batik.

To create my intricate designs, I use the traditional T’janting tool from Indonesia, which looks like a miniature teapot on a stick. When I wish to incorporate colors that are not compatible with one another, I must plan ahead and block out these areas when the fabric is still white. Later, I will have to remove all of the wax, rewax, and dye just the non-compatible area. This may happen many times in one piece. Once the batik is completed, I iron out all of the wax.

Each of my batiks is a one-of-a-kind creation, which often takes its own course of evolution from start to finish. I prefer working on fine China silk, as my batiks are known for their intricacy, and the silk shows off all of the fine detail while showing a radiant glow. Some of my batiks are multi-leveled, such as the Native American Dress or Jacket included in this portfolio. I have also developed a process of creating a double batik where the top batik is done on fine silk organza. Since it is transparent enough to see through to a second batik underneath, it creates a three-dimensional effect.


Copyright © 2018, Judith Hale Gallery - Santa Ynez, California.