About the artist


Sue batik 1 reduced
Sue starts the batik process on a silk scarf by applying melted wax with a tjanting. A maidenhair fern, the inspiration for the design, is in the lower left corner.

What could be better than spending my time on a process I enjoy, creating hand-dyed scarves and tops using beautiful colors and fabrics? I hope my products also bring enjoyment to my customers!

The patterns and shapes of flowers, ferns, and houseplants have always inspired me in terms of their possibilities for designs for hand-dyed textiles. Even the wildflowers growing along the side of the road (which some consider weeds), hold potential for beautiful designs. I bring my camera when I run along the road or go for a walk in the woods, and use the photos as a basis for the designs for my shirts and scarves. Visits to botanical gardens also result in many gorgeous subjects. Hikes in Yosemite National Park, during a visit to California for my son’s wedding, also provided inspiration.

I earned a degree in textile design from the University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth, with a focus on both print design and weaving. The classes I had in graphic design served me during the many years I worked for newspapers as a graphic artist, and for 18 years as the owner of a small community newspaper in my hometown of Sterling, Massachusetts. After selling the newspaper, I returned to the work I enjoy the most in 2015. Though I had some experience with batik as a college student, there was still a lot to learn about the process. Through trial and error, I am learning to master the application of the wax and Procion MX dyes. However, there is always an element of surprise in batik, which adds to the charm. The high-quality, fiber-reactive dyes share electrons with the fabric – they actually become part of the fabric, rather than sitting on top of it. This means that the fabric stays soft, and the end result is colorfast.

Susan Norlin-Staudaher