Hiho Batik: Handmade Art

My boys and I recently had the chance to check out Hiho Batik, a relatively new art space-cum-boutique in Park Slope, Brooklyn. I loved the store--the calm vibe, the design, and (on a practical side) the fit of the shirts. You know how t-shirts can sometimes be too wide or too short? Their shirts are just right and so soft. But that's not even the coolest part! We soon met Robyn Stylman and her business partner Julia Gordon and learned about the art space in the back of the store. That's where costumers can create their own personalized batik shirts, bags, bibs, aprons, even pillows!

Gordon has been practicing the art of batik for more than 18 years in Boulder and Miami. I was unfamiliar with this popular Indonesian fabric design, so Gordon explained, “The process of batik involves outlining a design on a shirt using hot wax, painting the design with dyes, waxing over the design to keep the colors in place, and finally dying the final piece of cloth. The wax simply gets washed out in the process and you are left with a one-of-a-kind piece of art.”

I couldn't wait to test it out, but that nervous feeling I get when I'm doing something new crept up on me. However, the owners and employees were so calm as they walked me and the boys through the process that I really enjoyed myself. I kept repeating the montra they have written cheerfully on the chalkboard in the back room, "There are no mistakes in art." This especially applies to batik. It's ok if the end result is a little messy. It actually looks better!

Here's some pictures of Oscar's experience. After the jump is Owen's (aka the artist) experience. I highly recommend Hiho Batik. You can walk-in or reserve the space for any occasion. I can't wait to go back and pick up our shirts. Read more details about my exsperience in an article I did for Elizabeth Street here.
That's Julia Gordon helping Oscar with his design. Plus, a mug full of permanent markers!!  
goofy face. he's stoked. i want that dog.
This is Oscar pouring the hot wax onto the shirt. Super hot but super safe thanks to Julia keeping a watchful eye. 
I couldn't tell if my boys were more thrilled to paint or wear rubber gloves.
Here's an example of a finished product. Buy this Dino Bones shirt here. Comes in adult size, too ha ;)
  Owen's turn after the jump . . .

loved the artist who helped Owen. Isn't he gorgeous? 
See there it is...There are no mistakes in art :)

Buy Bandit Owl here and Dino Bones here
Owen wears this bandit owl shirt any chance he can get. Since he has to wear a uniform to school, sometimes he stuffs it in his backpack and changes into after school. haha.


  1. Oooh I remember we did that in school and it was SO. MUCH. FUN! Adorable. We didnt do awesome dinosaurs, though :(

    1. that's so cool you did this at school! kind of scary for the teacher, but awesome nonetheless.

  2. You're the coolest mom ever. Like seriously, your kids are SO lucky! If/when you reach that "i hate you Mom" stage remember that you totally kick ass.

  3. I love this post, I am in New York for 6 weeks this summer with my kids, this will be on my list. Thanks:)

  4. Thank you Sharon for this awesome post. It was so much fun having you guys and your boys are seriously two of the sweetest kids around! Please come visit us again soon and bring Ella next time ;)

  5. It's looks really cute. This school memory is really so good. I can't forget these.

  6. So glad you posted about your experience! I keep hearing about Hiho Batik and would love to take my own kiddo some day. As a batik artist, someone who writes about batik and a mama to boot, I love seeing kids involved in batik.

  7. Great blog, I like your post so much.

  8. so good post, so cute little boy, i like your post, thanks for sharing.


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