We’re not generally souvenir shoppers and I don’t know many cruisers who are. When you live in a small space there just isn’t room to put anything that doesn’t serve at least two functions. On the other hand we like to have some remembrances of places we visit. We haven’t really bought anything so far except boat parts and provisions, so when we saw the Art Fabrik company we thought this might just be a place we can pick up something for the boat that’s also a souvenir of Grenada.
The first time we went to the shop they told us we could go upstairs to see how the batiks are made….but not today; it was too late. A week later we went again and couldn’t go upstairs because….we don’t know why. It wasn’t convenient. Finally, on our third try we could go out the back door and up the stairs to see the women in the tiny workshop handpainting designs in wax on finished garments and lengths of uncut fabric.
I’d hoped the designs were traditional Grenadian or Caribbean but as it turns out they’re just out of the head of the owner, a transplanted Californian. They’re pretty, though, and the colors are definitely Caribbean. All of the designs are hand painted in wax by a couple of local women who obviously enjoy the work and do it beautifully.
After the designs are painted they go downstairs for dyeing, then this man recovers the wax and prepares it to be used again. Some designs are multicolored and go through the whole process a second time. The finished batiks are hung to dry in the tiny courtyard. Gorgeous!
All of this work does not come cheap, but we felt the end products were fairly priced. We splurged on a set of napkins for Escape Velocity. They’ll be a little bit of luxury for special dinners aboard and a reminder of our time here in Grenada.