May 15, 2019

It isn’t as if too many people will get lost if they go to the former Arden Batik location on Elm Tree Road in Arden. The new location will be in sight and only a few steps away in the converted hotel where Sarah Hale has lived for over 45 years. But for Sarah Hale, the change of location will bring her batik business back to where it started.

It will also allow her access to a full-size studio on a year-round basis, and more wall space to show the larger, framed batiks that she is most interested in creating.

Sarah dates her career as a professional batik artist to the first larger craft show that she attended in 1977. She remembers the day well, because after packing up for the day she drove to Perth hospital to give birth to her daughter Julia. For the next 20 years she travelled to craft shows, large and small, across the province, selling larger and smaller framed and unframed pieces, famous Arden Batik name cards, and more.

Gradually, first at a shop located next to the Arden post office, and since 2001 from the former café at the bottom of the hill, Arden Batik has been open throughout the summer and by chance or appointment in the shoulder seasons.

Now, the same basic selling hours will be maintained in the hotel, with half of the bottom floor setup as a shop and a studio. Sarah will not be attending any shows or studio tours this year “in order to focus on the store,” she said.

She said that at this point she is not really interested in “growing my business just maturing it, and having the freedom to explore some more challenging work.”

After over 40 years using the wax resist batik method to capture the feel of the Canadian shield landscape in her work, it will be interesting for her fans and admirers from near and far to see where her work goes in this new/old space.

Arden batik will be open on Saturday and Sunday afternoon this weekend, and by chance or appointment until mid-June when it will be open for regular summer hours.

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