Sunday, 31 July 2011

Encaustic Collage Workshop

My friend Debbi and her daughter Emily came round to learn how to do encaustic work. We decided that doing a collage would be fun, so they raided my collage collection, and using a couple of placemats, did their design work before waving hot wax around. They mostly used the yellow beeswax, (from Bees R Us) and you can see the lovely golden colour it produces.

The refined beeswax I'd ordered earlier in the week from Lotus Oils arrived on Friday. It was actually cheaper to get 'cosmetic' grade than 'refined' grade, which I thought a bit weird.

Because they used so many small pieces for their collage, I thought we'd try the dipping technique, using a pair of clamps from a surgical kit. This made it reasonably safe for Emily to use. A baking tray of wax is sitting in the electric fry pan in hot water. Because it was relatively cold, we had to keep turning the heat up. The two cans hold wax that's rapidly hardening.

Debbie's finished piece. She's even managed to preserve a piece of tree from the placemat image.

ADDENDUM: The delicious smell of hot beeswax attracted the makers of said product. A swarm of bees arrived in the house, filling the lounge, with some making it into the studio. As both Emily and I are allergic to bees, this was FAR TOO EXCITING. Mr B dealt with the bees in the lounge (although it took several attempts to get rid of everyone), and Deb evicted most of those in the studio. Fortunately they were very dopey and slow moving.

It's a bit worrying for summer tho - there are a number of beehives in the orchard over the road (about a kilometre away), but David thinks they came from closer than that. All the same - me and bees do NOT mix.

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