My first Encaustic Workshop!

On Saturday, I got up bright and early and drove alllll the way to Carp and then a bit farther for my first encaustic workshop with Hubby’s mom. The workshop was taught by the popular Susan Ukkola, maker of fine items such as this:

and these:

She quickly went through the steps: First apply a coat of melted beeswax to your wood, then add pigment mixed with wax, leaving a space in the pigment for your picture(s):

Place your picture in the space and coat it with wax:

Then seal it with a heater gun:


You can scratch messages into your work or take an object and roll over it to get the texture into the wax. ie:

Next you can add a coat of oil paint of any colour you like. Spread it all over the panel and then wipe it off with a cloth and linseed oil.  (This part was REALLY messy)

Once our works were all done,  we left them out to dry:

Lastly, we sealed the sides with pigment and wax:

Of course there are lots of other ways to do encaustic painting and I may have forgotten a step, but this is the general idea. Melted wax+regular heat+pigment+photos/drawings/whatever=Party time!

Here are the works that I created:

and my “Dark Crystal” work:


It takes three days for the wax to solidify so the sides are a bit mushy for awhile. Encaustic painting is fun and naturally on the way home I thought of other things that I could try using this medium. But it requires space, outlets, heating pans, wax, brushes, paint, pigments, a sink, etc. Perhaps I will take another workshop with Susan, since I don’t have many of these resources at the moment.

Here is another great encaustic artist who I discovered recently. The stuff he creates is really cool:

http://www.jeffschaller.com/artwork/encaustic/encaustic.html

So if you have the chance, I recommend trying encaustic. My mother-in-law is completely addicted to it, who knows you might be too!

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11 thoughts on “My first Encaustic Workshop!

  1. Jen

    I love it! My brain’s a’cookin’ with the possibilities!

    What a great way to spend a Saturday 🙂

    How was the fume level and were there any health and safety issues?

  2. Pauline Post author

    Quackattack-That’s right!
    Jen-The “fumes” were from the wax, so my hands smelled like honey for the rest of the day, but the only other fume was the oil paint fume, but it wasn’t too bad. It got pretty warm in the studio due to the hot plates/guns, so we had the windows and door open. The main safety issue is heat. My mother-in-law has burned herself a few times from the hot plate and accidently touching the hot wax. You would have to make sure as well that all heating devices are turned off before leaving the room.
    Pearl-Encaustic painting is becoming very popular because it doesn’t require as much technical skill as regular painting. The main things you need are space and the right materials.
    Leishieloo-Thank you. It’s quite the hodge podge of stuff!
    Thoughtsappear-Thanks!

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