After running her business from a warehouse full of shared makers’ spaces, Jessica Kaufman, a woman with a knack for teaching crafts and a Masters degree in Crafts Education to prove it, decided she wanted to open her own shop in West Asheville. Kaufman’s business, WAXON Batik & Dye Studio, is aimed at sharing the beauty of creating traditional hand-dyed items, updated with stylish twists.
The studio allows for visitors to shop, buy, and create — all in the same space. “I really want to serve a hole in the community,” explains Kaufman. “We have a lot of glass and clay studios where you can visit and make your own art, but we need a hands-on fiber-arts studio for all ages.” Ultimately, she describes her studio as a paint-your-own-pottery studio, but for tie-dye and apparel.
Kaufman has been teaching for the last 15 years, in private and public elementary and high schools, for private clients in Brooklyn, and as a long-time counselor at the residential summer camp Gwynn Valley in Brevard. Besides hosting her own workshops in the new space, she wants other fiber artists to schedule their own, as well. WAXON also offers mobile tie-dye services: Kaufman and her two shop assistants take their van to music festivals, birthdays, office events, and more.
Kaufman will be teaching at John C. Campbell Folk School April 7-13, leading in-depth instruction on Indonesian, Indian, and American styles of batik. Students will have the chance to practice with wooden blocks that Kaufman got from a fifth-generation batik master when she visited India.
Meanwhile, back in Asheville, “I’m thrilled to be standing in the physical manifestation of what I’d hoped for,” says Kaufman. “My little workshop/dye-studio idea has come to fruition in the way I imagined.”
Jessica Kaufman, WAXON Batik & Dye Studio, 726 Haywood Road, Asheville. Visitors can call or e-mail the studio directly to set up a lesson. The studio workshops can fit 4-16 people, although they welcome individuals and couples to schedule sessions. For more information, see waxonstudio.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. 828-367-7537. Instagram: @waxonstudio. Facebook: WAXON Batik and Dye Studio.