Photo Transfers and Encaustic

Playing With Wax

Fri, July 19, 2013

I recently took a post-conference workshop (7th International Encaustic Conference) at Truro Center for the Arts with Elena de la Ville: how to integrate photographic images and wax.  Encaustic materials are expensive. Working on a small scale —6 x 6 birch panels—allows me to experiment by trial and error. Working in a series, creates variety within structure. I’m learning how to create a smooth surface with natural beeswax.

Notes: Italian Businessman

Posso fare una foto delle tue scarpe?  May I take a picture of your shoes? Luckily this businessman had a sense of humor and I captured this photo on my iPhone. I edited it in Photoshop and printed a reversed image on DASS™ film. Water soluble inks transfer easily to unprimed birch. (Sometimes, however, I’ll transfer to various papers and glue them to the wood.) Warming the panel, I use a soft hake brush to spread on thin layers of wax at right angles to each other. Fuse. Cool. Buff. Repeat the waxing steps. Fuse. Cool. Buff.  Repeat the waxing steps as often as necessary to achieve a protective surface. The piece will cure for a few days. I love to polish the surface to a mellow shine. 

P.S. My husband is a beekeeper. I can view his hives from my studio and have witnessed several swarms. This fall when he harvests honey, I’ll ask for some of the wax when he scrapes off the cell “caps.”