Gearing Up for Encaustic

It's been too long since I've taken any studio art classes. All my focus has been on developing my print and pattern designs (see my progress at my new website.) But next week I'm taking a class on Encaustic with Caryl St. Ama at Glendale Community College sponsored by R & F Handmade Paints.

The word ‘encaustic’ comes from the Greek word enkaiein, meaning to burn in. Encaustic paint is wax-based using beeswax, resin and pigment. It's kept in a liquid state on a heated palette. After it's applied to an absorbent surface it's reheated so that the paint fuses (hence the use of the Greek word.) Not to be confused with the term ‘caustic,’ which refers to a corrosive chemical reaction - not at all what happens with encaustic.

Caryl St. Ama, "Home Turf", Encaustic and photo transfer on wood panel, 12" x 9", 2014

Caryl's work is inspiring me to gather bits of textiles and paper to embed in the wax. I'm really interested in the concept of using textiles to create art that I can then turn into textile prints.


Maybe then I'll use the printed textile in a new encaustic. Sort of like looking at a mirror with a mirror, goes on forever.

My next challenge is to come up with new materials. Fortunately the paints are included in the cost of the workshop, so the most important thing I'll need are the supports. For this class I think I'll try a few different sizes and thicknesses to see what I like best (linking to the Amazon page so I can find them again...)

Ampersand Art Encausticbord - Cradled - 1.5" Profile - 12"x12"

Ampersand Encausticbord 11 in. x 14 in. 1 1/2 in. each

I'll also need natural bristle brushes, and don't want to ruin any good ones, so think I'll try Loew-Cornell 2-Inch Wood Handle Natural Bristle Gesso Brush or maybe this set of three Royal & Langnickel Large Area Artist Brush Set- Three Brown Camel Hair Brushes which would give me 1", 2" and 3".

That should get me started.....