Maybe it's because my four-year-old has begun to exhibit serious craft-loving tendencies. Maybe it's because my job exposes me daily to inspiration from artisans all over the world. Whatever the reason, I've rediscovered my inner creative. And because there's nothing like rolling up your sleeves and getting crafty as a group, the Lonny team decided to make a morning visit to a fab Brooklyn DIY resource: Hiho Batik.
First off: If I could squeeze myself into every single thing in the store, I would. The boutique is filled with groovy, colorful, 100-percent-cotton hoodies, thermals, leggings, and more featuring the handmade designs of creative director Julia Silver Gordon and her team. Batiking takes place in the studio and dye space at the back of the store, where make-your-own classes and assorted DIY workshops are also held. (Batik and Beer Night, anyone?) Since the batik process involves hot wax, younger children must be closely supervised—I took my two toddlers to a party at the store and let them sketch their own designs with pencil before taking over from there. Older kids around the tween ages, however, should do fine with guidance from the store's staff.
Armed with breakfast pastries and mimosas, the Lonny team spent a happy hour or two learning the technique from Gordon and then plotting our own projects. Style editor Sarah Storms (below) made a tote covered in runway-ready variegated stripes. Editorial coordinator Sarah Jean Shelton drew an otomi-inspired design for a pillow cover, while photo editor Genevieve Garruppo put her art-school education to good use with a bold and blowsy leaf design. Art director Carolyn Veith Krienke made her 11-year-old daughter's dreams come true with a "Je t'Aime" T-shirt in bubbly pink and purple letters.
As for me, I couldn't resist an attempt at a tribal-style thermal for my daughter to coordinate with the store's skull-and-crossbones shirt, which my son already owns. While it may not be as well-executed as the store's own products (see the adorable banana-bike shirt below), the imperfections are all part of the fun. Head to Hiho Batik—with or without kids—to get a crash course on this ancient craft. And check back next week on Lonny's DIY section for ideas on how to make your own batik designs at home.