BATIK OETORO is an Australian, family-operated business originally established in 1972 by Bambang Oetoro, renowned Indonesian batik artist living and teaching in Australia at the time. When he returned to Indonesia, he passed the business on to his friend Michel Kostovic, who then operated it until his retirement in March 2007. It is now owned and operated by Lynne Britten, well known textile artist and master dyer. Lynne worked as Michel's assistant in the 1990's.
WHERE YOU FIND US. Our factory and showroom are located at 3/11 Nevin Close, Gateshead (a suburb of Newcastle, 160km north of Sydney on the New South Wales coast). The doors are open 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday (other times by appointment). Closed weekends and public holidays. Annual shutdown is from approximately Christmas Eve to Australia Day.
If you coming north from Sydney or the Central Coast, take the F3 and then take the East Lake Macquarie exit (Doyalson Link Road). Follow this through Lake Munmorah and Doyalson, and so onto the Pacific Highway at Swansea, and on through Belmont. At Bennetts Green do not take the Newcastle By Pass. Stay on the highway and turn right. Within 100 metres turn right again at the next set of lights onto Oakdale Road (Charlestown Toyota on the corner). Second street on your right (with Goodyear Autocare on the corner) is Nevin Close. And the group of factory units we are in are at the very end of the street on the left.
HOW YOU CONTACT US. Our phone and email details are at the bottom of every page of the website. We answer the phone from 9am to when we finally leave of an afternoon. If you get the answering machine in business hours - it means we are busy with another customer or up to our elbows in dye or paint. Please leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as is practical. We do not have a blog and you cannot find us on Facebook - we think this website is more than enough !
We are GREEN ! Our new premises were built in approx the 1970's and so we are re-using an existing building rather than constructing new. The high ceilings, roof ventilation, a large roller door almost always open, and the expanse of the wetlands next door, means we rarely need to turn on fans for cooling. Every piece of paper is used both sides and then shredded and used as packing in the orders being posted out - advertising material that arrives in the letterbox (at home & work, and family & staff donate too) is also shredded. The cardboard boxes your orders are packed in are collected from local supermarkets and businesses. All our plastic containers are recycled and/or recyclable plastic. And the local wildlife approves - we are visited by water dragons and goannas, swamp hens, magpies, etc., as we are located on the edge of a local wetlands. (Pictured is a baby water dragon).
WHY WE DO THIS. Lynne Britten is a textile artist. She was taught the lady-like accomplishments of knitting, crochet, and hand embroidery at an early age, and then went off on a tangent... Dyeing offcuts of worn out cotton sheets with mulberries ! A Diploma of Visual Arts (majoring in textiles) and Graduate Dip of Education (Art) followed, and then 10 years in the fashion industry as a Textile Designer working closely with the screenprinters. Picking up her Dyeing Certificate and Patternmaking Certificate from TAFE along the way. 10 more years as a Textile Artist - mostly producing hand painted silks and dyeing. Then in March 2007, she and her husband bought Batik Oetoro.