Batik is a very ancient form of fabric decoration, originating in the Far East, where it is used for making both clothing and wall hangings. It is a “wax resist” process; the designs are created with alternative applications of hot wax and dye. Sarah Hale’s original batiks are drawn freehand with melted wax on cotton, silk, hemp or wool fabric.
Sarah is one of the rare North American artists specializing in batik as a landscape medium, and has found the process uniquely suited to capturing the colours and textures of the Canadian Shield.
I have drawn, coloured, painted, and made art of one sort or another as long as I can remember. At the age of 10, I expected to become a famous artist, and through high school and university, when I thought I should do something “useful” like teach school, I continued to take studio art courses as often as possible. I was first exposed to wax resist art during a year of living in Japan, and after moving to Arden, I took an afternoon workshop in the basic batik techniques. Very soon, I realized that I not only enjoyed the process, but also liked the finished results – that finally, I had a way of depicting landscape that seemed fresh and new. Also, people bought my work, which meant I could afford to do more.
Within a few years, my batik experiments were a full time family business which has remained my major source of income ever since. My late husband Lorne and I worked together for over twenty years, doing some of the major retail art/craft shows in Ontario (One of a Kind and the Ottawa Christmas Craft Show) as well as travelling all over Ontario and into Quebec and New England. Since his death in 1999, I have concentrated more on my gallery and shop in Arden. I have also completed a Master of Christian Studies with an Art Thesis Project from Regent College in Vancouver. The thesis culminated in a show of appliquéd and quilted batiks on the theme of The Tree of Life.
My studio in Arden is open by chance or appointment all year round.
My work is also available at The Riverguild on Gore Street in Perth and Cornerstone at the corner of Princess and Ontario in Kingston.