Thursday, October 28, 2010

Diving Into Encaustics

A snippet of some mail art  from Dosfishes and some gold leaf included here.

The porcupine quills got a little singed with the torching!

Just picked up this used book on Cockatiels at the library.

Alcohol inks, oil pastels and the mighty torch.

Pretty globby but there are areas that I like.
antique hairpins and a rusted bottle cap from Artymess 

Antique lace embedded

Incised, pigmented, torched and collaged.

I've had the idea of  doing encaustic work in the back of my mind for awhile. It was another of those avenues that I knew would require new supplies and a few tools.  I took the plunge when I was out of town for a couple of bead shows and in a city that actually has an bona fide art supply store

Once I was in my studio with the help of my newly purchased book Encaustic Workshop by Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch.  I realized that I didn't have everything I needed but perhaps enough to get started.  I found that we did not have a heat gun handy so I had to make do with a Mapp gas torch or a hair dryer, neither of which are 100% suitable for the fusing work. Encaustic work  employs the use of hot wax and pigmented hot wax which can be painted, spread, incised, layered and you can even embed objects, papers for a collage effect.

Let me tell you this first off... Using a Mapp gas torch to fuse the wax is very exciting dangerous and certainly not the ideal tool. I was lucky and had no catastrophes but can easily imagine things getting out of hand. The hair dryer blows... literally and figuratively. Fortunately I have the ideal heat gun waiting for me at Studio South in Arizona. Under a month to go till we take off for our winter home. Guess my encaustic supplies will be a-traveling with me.

What you see here are essentially my encaustic doodlings and experimentation. These pieces are done on small pieces of wood, the largest being a mere 5 inches square (12.7 cm)
I certainly figured a new way to make messes in my studio. The only hot plate I had to heat my pigmented medium tins and wax medium was a small stainless steel plate on top of a heating element that was kind of tippy to add to the excitement. I also had a pyrex glass cooking pot explode as I was heating the resin, thinking that it could withstand the temperature. My heating element was inexact at best and I quickly figured out which setting I needed to be at to keep the wax melted but not boiling.


  1. These are great, are you using pigmented encaustic wax or is that paint and clear wax. I like the inclusion of the elements like the porcupine quils and metals. Seggebruch's work is incredible. Have fun, just no singeing of your hair, or David for that matter! xox Corrine

  2. Wow these are amazing .....makes me want to have a go ....lots of would be cool to drill small holes into the pieces and add stitches too ...gosh no wonder we haven't heard from you ...exciting stuff Kim...go girl !!...xx

  3. oh gosh you are scaring me girl!! I heat my wax in a mini crock pot that I got on sale at Target and use a mini quilting iron to smooth the wax, but not on high and the heat gun can easily melt all kinds of things and burn as well, so do be careful ok? if you have any questions email me, I have taken many wax classes including Seggebruch's at art fest.! xo

  4. I like how the texture turn out, fabulous pieces!


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