Mind Your Bees Wax With Encaustics

After taking the encaustic workshop at the Portland Art and Soul Retreat in October http://www.artandsoulretreat.com/ I fell in love with the technique of incorporating wax into my collage process.

I ordered a supply of wax, resin crystals and soya wax from Swans Candles http://www.swanscandles.com/ for a very good price considering how much the supplies would have cost at my local art store.  It was definitely more economical to order in bulk then to buy it by the package.  I also had the order delivered to Ship Happens so that the shipping costs were a fraction of what I would have had to pay if sent to Canada.  Fortunately I live very close to the USA border so it is not an issue to go and pick up my orders.

Since receiving my wax I have been practicing on smaller substrates of 5″ x 7″ so that I can try different things and see what results I get.  First I made up a large batch of clear wax using 4 parts bees-wax with 1 part Damar resin crystals, note the resin takes a very long time to melt and blend into the bee’s wax, so be patient – I used an old crock pot the first time I made it up and then poured the combined ingredients into a muffin tin and when cooled I popped them out and stored them for future use.  For melting my wax while working on a piece, I bought a pancake griddle and then used cat food and tuna tins to melt the wax in – remember to keep your temperature below 200 degrees and no higher than 250 while melting the wax.  I have started some of the pieces by attaching  various paper to the board and then adding at least 2 layers of clear wax, bonding each layer in-between with a torch or heat gun – it is very important to bond between each layer and then adding coloured layers and more papers here and there.  I used pieces of oil pastel for most of the colours I have made or you can use a little bit of oil paint – acrylic paint does not work with the wax.

Encaustic In this collage I used some cheese cloth, various papers and a real dried flower blossom adding some incising where the red is and rubbing red oil paint into the crevices, and then taking a paper towel with a bit of vegetable oil on it to wipe off any excess oil pant I didn’t want….the oil works really well for removing the oil paint from you hands as well.  I like my first attempts at encaustic on my own and love that I have Serena Barton’s book Wabi-Sabi Art Workshop http://www.serenabarton.com to refer to for ideas and techniques.  Before trying this be sure to read up about melting wax and safety while using it, etc. and also how to clean your brushes with melted soya wax – natural Bristol brushes are best.

I look forward to working more with wax and seeing what I can do I am sure the possibilities are endless and how wonderful is it to have art that gives off the lovely fragrance of honey.

Until next time, happy creating.





Art and Soul Retreat – Portland

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I was fortunate to be able to attend some workshops at the Portland Art and Soul Retreat the week of September 30. artandsoulretreat.com It was a wonderful experience and I loved all the workshops that I attended….4 all together.
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My favorite was the first one with Serena Barton – Wabi Sabi Encaustics. I have her latest book and had not tried the encaustics until the workshop. I absolutely fell in love with this medium it is so organic and natural and there are so many things you can do. I have included a couple of photos of my encaustic creations – love the earthy colours and being able to add in fibres, fabric, paper, etch into the wax etc. I already love creating collages and now I can incorporate encaustics into the mix of things.art 013 5x7 I have ordered wax and I am gathering the other necessary tools and I should be creating more with wax soon.

If you ever have the opportunity to attend an art retreat, I highly recommend it as it is a great way to learn new techniques and meet other artists. I do hope to attend again next year.

Until next time

A little Wabi-Sabi trial

wabi sabi I recently purchased the book Wabi-Sabi Art Workshop by Serena Barton http://www.serenabarton.com/info.php?page=4, which I discovered on Pam Carriker’s blog http://pamcarriker.com/2013/06/10/serena-barton-wabi-sabi-book-blog-hop/ and I am definitely intrigued by her techniques.

This is my first attempt at trying some of the techniques on a 8 x 8 canvas. I didn’t have any of the re-inkers that Serena uses and they are not available in Canada where I live, so instead I used acrylics with acrylic glaze and some cold wax. I am pleased with how it turned out.

I am registered for Serena’s Wabi-Sabi Workshop at the Portland, Oregon Art & Soul Retreat http://artandsoulretreat.com in October and I can hardly wait to take the workshop.

til next time