The current workshops are held in our treetop art studio in NW Gainesville, which is equipped with an industrial ventilation system for the safety of our students. All materials will be provided and no prior art experience is necessary.
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.
Next you will learn to create the depth that is unique to encaustic while having fun incorporating collage materials to create an original piece of art. An emphasis will be placed on blending the collage pieces seamlessly into your work. I encourage you to bring personal ephemera, keepsakes, etc. to make it your own.
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! You will receive a 10% discount (non GFAA members only).
Each 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.
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.