Artist Sarah Paul, of New Vineyard, introduces batik – a process using wax and dye on cloth – to elementary schoolchildren who created their own artwork using the technique. Paul’s visit is part of a three-week workshop program at both Crescent Park and Woodstock Elementary schools. (Ashley Oliver)

BETHEL — Woodstock Elementary School alumna and artist Sarah Paul returned to SAD 44 this month for a three-week workshop program at both Crescent Park and Woodstock Elementary schools.

Currently living in New Vineyard, Paul’s artistic focus is wearable, batiked art. Over the course of her workshop with local students, she introduced them to the techniques she uses to create one-of-a-kind scarves.

Batiking is a process in which the artist treats areas of cloth with wax, to prevent the absorption of dye, and then exposes the remainder to dye of her chosen color. This process can be repeated for multiple colors of dye, allowing for areas of the piece to have one color, multiple blended colors, or to retain the color of the cloth.

“It’s been wonderful to be back at WES and CPS to introduce the students to batik,” Paul said.

“We’ve been exploring the unique properties that wax has at different temperatures. We’ve been exploring how we can use those qualities to control the flow of the liquid dyes on the fabric. I’ve enjoyed watching the students running little experiments and checking things out for themselves. I can answer their questions, but nothing beats their hands on experience with the materials.

“In the process of all this discovery, they’ve made very beautiful art. I’m really thankful that I’ve gotten to share this craft and this time with them. I’m going to return to my batik studio next week inspired by their curiosity and their creations.” she said.


Paul’s visit was supported by a grant from the Bethel Area Arts and Music (BAAM) Youth Arts program and organized by SAD 44 elementary school art teacher Ashley Oliver-Broderick.

“I love being able to expose our students to new forms of art, and having Sarah share her craft and her love of art with them helps capture their attention and engage their creativity,  Oliver-Broderick. said.

“Being able to work with BAAM to bring visiting artists like Sarah into our schools adds another dimension to our curriculum that encourages our students to continue their creative thinking,” Oliver-Broderick said.

BAAM is a local organization supporting the arts by connecting the community with local artists, connecting local artists to each other and supporting them, and supporting arts-enrichment programs for SAD 44 and area youth. Other programs supported by BAAM this year include the Monmouth Theater Group’s presentation last month, this year’s collaborative mural project at Telstar, and a variety of other local programs.

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