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- STRUCTURAL CARE: A damar resin is added to the wax to add extra sheen when polished and more importantly, to harden it, thus making encaustic work more durable. As with any piece of artwork, you will want to handle it with care. The painting is very stable under normal temperatures. It may soften slightly on a hot day, but only direct heat or temps in excess of around 120-150 degrees depending on the situation will affect the painting. ( In creating the work I use 185-200 degrees). Likewise, freezing temps may cause the work to crack or chip if mishandled. Like all paintings, it may be damaged if left in hot or cold cars or storage areas. Normal household temperatures will not affect its integrity, although it should not be placed anywhere that receives direct heat or prolonged sunlight. Do not frame with glass. SURFACE CARE: Encaustic art takes up to a year to fully cure, or harden. Although the surface of the painting appears dry and feels hard, it can be scratched, chipped, or dented if handled roughly or dropped. To CLEAN your artwork, use a soft, lint-free cloth to dust gently, or you may use a lightly moistened cloth with water only if necessary. To POLISH, carefully rub the surface with a clean cloth or you can use your hand (no rings). You will want to do this every 2-3 months if you like a shiny surface. TRAVEL/SHIPPING: Encaustic travels well with a bit of special care. There are many options and opinions on how to safely ship the artwork. USPS (smaller pieces), UPS, FedEx, and other shipping companies have been used successfully. Next day delivery is best. I offer these basic guidelines: Wrap the work with parchment paper or wax paper to protect the surface and edges. Then bubble wrap the piece with bubbles facing AWAY from the surface and place in a snug box with added padding and insulation material. Avoid shipping in extreme temperatures. Insure your package, ship in the least amount of time (overnight best), and ship at the beginning of the week to insure that the package doesn’t sit in a hot or freezing warehouse over a weekend (or holiday). Tell the person receiving the package to be on the lookout for it (day, time, method of shipping) so that it doesn’t sit in a hot/freezing mailbox, etc. ***NEVER LEAVE YOUR ARTWORK IN A VEHICLE. Not even 5 minutes! Play it safe! Thank you and I truly hope that you enjoy your encaustic artwork!! Sincerely, Debra Lindberg
Download Encaustic Care sheet: care_for_Encaustic.PDF
COME PLAY IN THE LADY LOFT!
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Encaustic is an art form like no other. Using molten beeswax with damar resin, layer after layer is applied to a support to create tactile work with unmatched luminosity, ethereal depth and complexity. The encaustic process is amazingly forgiving and totally engaging. The possibilities are endless!
All materials will be provided and no prior art experience is necessary.
Each one day class is limited to 4 students
Learning the Beautiful Art of ENCAUSTICS! – Basic Process and Collage
- This is an introductory class that will cover:
- Studio set up, safety and resources.
- Basics of encaustic: learn the important rules for working with encaustics: building a good foundation, learning to control the wax, and mastering a smooth surface.
- Basic composition and design concepts
- These skills are necessary for all future work with encaustics.
Additionally an introduction to:
- Encaustic painting and glazes: Learn to paint with encaustic pigments and glazes.
- Adding texture: Learn how to make a textured surface and experiment with alternative ways to add and enhance the textured surface
- Adding finishing touches: foils, rub-ons, metals, and more.
Be prepared to have a lot of fun! Enroll a friend or two and make it a party!
Each one day class is limited to 4 students.
Note: please note that there are 23 steps up to the treetop studio and no handicap access at this time. If a class you want to attend is full, let me know! I may be able to schedule another one. Please remember that no show = no refund unless your space is filled by another student. Please let me know ASAP, preferably a week before class if you are unable to attend.
Questions, contact me: Debra Lindberg firstname.lastname@example.org
View Gallery – Encaustic Art
ADDITIONAL CLASSES! Must have basic encaustic skills to take these classes:
Intermediate Encaustic Process and Adding Texture
- Build upon what you have learned plus new ideas for texture- tools, stamps, screen and stencils, lace, etc. Painting from the palette, paint with an iron, making your own medium. Ideas for making a textured surface before wax is applied.
Working with Transfers
- A whole class dedicated to working with photo transfers as well as other types of transfers. Bring your laser photo copies!
Collage and Mixed Media
- learn the nuances of creating depth in collage. You will learn how to manipulate materials for collage, prepare a proper surface, and how to seal your collage piece. Incorporate mark making with a variety of interesting ideas as well as using plant materials and found objects. Intro to back-ground and surface treatments is included in this informative class.
Building Interesting Backgrounds
- Learn a variety of interesting options for getting a head start on creating a great piece of art with lots of depth and luminosity.
Surface Treatments and Shellac Burns
- Advanced surface treatment ideas as well as learning to manipulate shellac with a torch to add special effects to your work.
Encaustic Open Studio
- Happy Hour Playtime!-For all who have taken at least the beginning class. Bring a project you’re working on, a problem piece in need of advice, or create a new work of art in a relaxed and fun environment. Bring wine or other beverage and some munchies!
- Encaustic Mono Printing – Printing with hot wax and papers.
- Encaustic and metals-wax and metal application for jewelry and assemblage
- Exploring Sculpture in Wax- Taking encaustic 3D!
WHAT IS ENCAUSTIC?
Encaustic is an irresistibly inviting medium that is capable of producing a unique, unmatched level of depth and luminosity. It is an ancient method of painting using a mixture of beeswax plus a small amount of damar tree resin that adds shine and durability. A few thousand years ago ancient Greeks used encaustic to waterproof and decorate their sea vessels. They also used encaustic on murals and statues. Later, Egyptians made encaustic portraits to cover the faces of bodies that were mummified. (the famous Fayum mummies). The applications for encaustic seem nearly endless. It is a beautiful, rich medium that just begs to be touched!
The word encaustic means to “burn in”. The basic rules of encaustic embody this definition:
- Melted beeswax (200 degrees) is applied to a heated porous substrate.
- Fuse the wax to the surface with a heat source.
- Continue these two steps again and again until the work is completed. This layering is what produces a deep, translucent surface that captures and reflects light. The painting can be reheated and reworked days or years later.
- Buff the work (timing varies) when cool to bring out luminosity. The piece will continue to cure for up to a year, sometimes longer.
Basic Set Up:
- Substrate- any porous, rigid surface such as birch plywood, commercially prepared panels, or scrap wood that is unfinished. You can put a coat of encaustic gesso on this wood before you start painting. (Acrylic gesso as well as acrylic paints are generally not recommended for use with encaustic, as they are not absorbent).
- Encaustic medium- a mix of pure beeswax and damar resin. The resin raises the melting point of the wax to reduce heat damage and prevents blooming (a white haze that can form on the surface). It also increases the hardness and durability of the wax as it cures. You can prepare your own or buy it already made.
- Encaustic paint- is medium with pigment added. If using commercial encaustic paint, only a small amount is needed to add to the medium. It is very concentrated.
- Hot palette and tins- a pancake griddle, and empty food cans.
- Fusing tools- embossing gun, heat gun, various irons, heat lamps, torches, and the sun!
- Brushes- only use natural bristles!
- Misc. tools- palette knives, dental and sewing tools, stencils, wood burning tools, silicone tools–The list is nearly endless!
- Mixed media- papers, fabrics, found objects, ink, pastels, charcoal, etc., plaster, celluclay, nature elements such as flowers and leaves, transfers, etc.
- Proper ventilation. Put a fan in a window adjacent to the working area to draw fumes out of the room.
- A fire estinguisher
- A first aid kit for burns
- A surface thermometer for the hot palette
Care of Completed Work:
- Care for as any fine artwork. Hang at room temperatures out of direct sunlight. Encaustic can be wiped clean with a soft cloth or a dampened cloth if dirty. Frequent buffing every few months brings out the shine and luminosity. Store wrapped in wax paper then bubble wrapped.
- Is it toxic? Only if overheated (to smoking point) or by adding toxic materials to it. Stay in a range of 175-220 degrees and use proper ventilation.
- Can I frame it behind glass? Not recommended. Glass diminishes the surface appeal of encaustic and is also not necessary. Floater frames are commonly used for the work.
- Will it melt? Yes! At temperatures of 150 degrees; and higher to actually make the wax move. Don’t leave it in a car!!
- Will it freeze? Yes! Freezing produces a different kind of problem. It makes the piece vulnerable to shifting and cracking. Use caution when handling in cold weather. Fifty degrees or higher is a safer temperature.
- Is it fragile? No! Encaustic is very durable. If proper care is given, it will pass the test of time.
*See more FAQs at rfpaints.com
Resources to get you going:
- R&f Handmade Paints, Inc. www.rfpaints.com
- Enkaustikos Encaustic Paints www.fineartstore.com
- Dadant and Sons – beeswax -local! 386-454-0237 (Alachua) Dadant.com/catalog/
- Evans Encaustics Evansencaustic.com
- Dick Blick Dickblick.com
- Fayum mummy portraits-fascinating information! Wikipedia.org
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Debra Lindberg – Email me