Journey to Batik News

Provenance of the Prankemon sarongs

Publication ‘Provenance #4’ by Wereldmuseum (former NMvW) is out now!

“Carolina Josephina von Franquemont (1817-1867) is a prominent name within the batik textile community. She is seen as the first Indo-European to run a batik workshop around 1850 in the small village of Ungaran near Semarang on Java, Indonesia. Different researchers wrote about her, mentioning that she was known under the local nickname ‘Prankemon’ and was famous for a colourfast, naturally dyed green colour. Von Franquemont did not sign her batiks, but over time numerous batiks from several collections have been attributed to Von Franquemont, as they are thought to have been made by her or made in her batik workshop. Many of these attributions were made within the holdings of the umbrella organisation the Wereldmuseum and other ascriptions are based on the batiks kept at these Dutch museums. Since 2017, I have been researching this batik legacy to find out who Von Franquemont was, and which batiks were actually made by her. This article explores more on the provenance and mythmaking around Von Franquemont. It lays out my findings of the past five years.”

Provenance #4 is out now! Read more about how batiks were attributed to Von Franquemont with very limited provenance, how mistakes entered the story about her life and got repeated over and over again, and read about the batiks that I could link directly to Caroline Josephina von Franquemont’s family.

Read it online here:


Podcast guest at Indisch Indonesisch

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Talkshow guest on SEA Today

On 17 November 2023 I made my live talkshow debut on SEA Today News. I was contacted about a week before if I wanted to join the show through zoom and giggled when I saw the announcement “Dutch woman’s love for Indonesian Batik”. It was wonderful to chat with the hosts Hans, Alia and Kai who clearly have a love for Batik too and know a lot.

Watch it back on YouTube:

Journey to Batik Projects

Masa depan Batik | Future of Batik recap

So actually since 2021 this exhibition, Masa depan Batik | Future of Batik has been in the making. After I was invited by artist Shishani to join their amazing project ‘Shishani & Sisterhood’, Erasmus Huis reached out to do an online zoom on Batik. For the Jakarta Fashion week in 2021, me and two other speakers were invited to talk about Batik with the topic ‘Future of Batik’. Me and Erasmus Huis director Yolande Melsert came up with the title when talking about if batik could be sustainable.
After the talk, I was invited by Erasmus Huis to make the exhibition. I was free to fill it as I wanted and me wanting to involve the pembatiks with their own work was welcomed completely.
The pandemic made it of course difficult to prepare anything until everything opened up again a little bit. So last year, 2022, I did most preparations, go talk with everyone, invite the pembatiks to make new work and interview them. I spend two months traveling around, meeting and re-meeting. The report blogs you can read back >> here

On 2 October 2023 finally my exhibition was announced with a short video I made in which the pembatiks & me introduce ourselves. On 13 October 2023 I left for Jakarta, Indonesia. To see more of the building up behind the scenes click >>here

On 21 October 2023 the exhibition at Erasmus Huis in Jakarta was started with a grand opening. I was so happy that the pembatiks Mak Sium, Mbak Eka, Mbak Nurul, Ibu Siti, Ibu Ramini and their family could be there for the opening weekend. Next to the opening, we had a Pasar Batik and I gave the first of many workshops >>read more here

There was much attention for the exhibition resulting in tiktoks, selfies and other online posts. On Monday 4 December 2023 I got the news that my exhibition was in the news. A really wonderful article by journalist Sylviana Hamdani with the impressive title ‘Masa Depan, Batik, Unveiling the industry’s challenges and reshaping the future‘ in the newspaper The Jakarta Post. Hamdani attended the opening and interviewed me and the pembatiks. I didn’t expect any article to still come out, but this was more then just an article. It goes in much depth on several artworks and features next to a photo of me with my selfportrait, also a lovely portrait of Mak Sium and Mbak Nurul with their batiks, the oldest and the youngest pembatik featured in the exhibition.

“We need to show this craftsmanship to the younger generation to make it more future-oriented and sustainably resilient,” Bolk said on the opening night.”At the same time, this is also an invitation to reflect on the future of batik.”

The exhibition ‘Masa Depan Batik’ closed on 20 January 2024. I haven’t shared many images online yet of the exhibition, because I hope to make a little catalog.

On my blog Journey to Batik you can read back more about the different workshops and other events that were held at Erasmus Huis >> click here


Upcoming Batik Workshops

Vanwege de vele verzoeken die ik krijg, dankjulliewel, ga ik batikworkshops dichter bij huis organiseren in Utrecht. Er is plek voor maximaal 12 deelnemers per workshop. Voor groepen kan een aparte afspraak gemaakt worden aansluitend aan de verdere wensen en op een datum naar keuze..

De eerste data zullen zijn:
– zondag 24 maart ~ 10u – 16u incl lunch (vol = aanmelden voor wachtlijst mogelijk)
– zondag 21 april ~ 10u – 16u incl lunch – zondag 16 & zondag 23 juni – tweedaagse workshop,  10u – 16u incl lunch

Batik is een uitsparingstechniek waarbij met hete was patronen worden gecreëerd op stof. Batik is sinds 2009 UNESCO immaterieel erfgoed van Indonesië.
Tijdens de Batik introductie workshop vertelt Sabine hoe batik op Java in Indonesië gemaakt wordt aan de hand van verschillende doeken die zij verzamelde tijdens haar reizen.
Voor de workshop werken we met (Nederlandse) bijenwas op (hergebruikt) katoen. Hierbij werken we met een canting, een koperen waspen van Java, en/of een cap, een batikstempel die Sabine zelf maakte van verschillende keukenattributen zoals aardappelstampers en deegvormen.
Na het aanbrengen van de was, verven we de katoen met een kwast, deze techniek heet op Java ‘colet’.
Na het drogen van de stof, volgt de tweede stap, een tweede laag was over de geverfde delen. Nadat er een tweede laag was aangebracht is, gaan de doeken in een verfbad.
Het uitkookproces van de was doet Sabine achteraf. De batik wordt opgestuurd.

De workshop van 24 maart & 21 april kost 95 euro
Dit is inclusief materiaal &
inclusief vegetarisch lunch & koffie/thee

De tweedaagse workshop waarbij we dieper in gaan op batik, de motieven en het maken, zal plaatsvinden op zondag 16 en zondag 23 juni.
De workshop kost 180 euro voor twee dagen, inclusief materiaal, koffie/thee en lunch.

Om aan te melden, meer informatie te ontvangen of voor een batikworkshop voor een groep of op een latere datum, mail naar