Sunday, 3 July 2011

'Encaustic' Pieces

Well, I finally got my studio to the point where I could shove what was left scattered on the floor into a couple of piles, clear the centre of the floor space, move my computer table back into the lounge, and find the small desk.

Got out 'Encaustic Workshop' by Patricia Seggebruch, set up everything I thought I'd need, and set to. Working on paper, newspaper or cardboard is not a good idea - but probably better than just working on top of a plastic sheet (hot wax, hot heat gun + plastic = ...). I need to put a big sheet of cardboard over the desk, under the plastic sheet, otherwise I'm going to ruin the surface. Changed to a glass plate for a working surface - the glass from a photocopier. I can scrape off waste wax, and clean up any mess relatively easily.

I'm using 10mm MDF cut into 12x12cm squares. I initially gave them a white acrylic paint undercoat, but now I know wax and acrylic don't mix well. Sandpaper is my friend.

I haven't added any damar resin to the beeswax - that will have to wait, and I understand you can get very good results without it.

This piece, a woman sitting at a cafe table, was a paper serviette, which I fused on; in addition, there's some sheer fabric, lace doily, paper tag with 'forget me not', and a dab of red acrylic paint, which I had tried to stencil on thru the lace, but when I tried to fuse it, it slid away across the wax - come back, come back ...

"God is the painter", has a blue/green fossil-batik print glued onto the MDF with PVA glue, a few layers of wax, piece of mussel shell, bits of semi-precious stone, and a found pendant. The quote is on 'vellum', which is actually a plasticised cotton, not paper, so just floats on the top. It's now been removed, and will be replaced with text printed on either rice, mulberry or tissue paper, so it melds more with the background. I think I'm going to put more wax in the centre, just to smooth it out.

This third piece is abstract. I think I'll call it "This Way Up". I wanted to try incising lines and shapes, then filling with colour. The rectangle was a right angle hex key, the circle part of a sewing spool, and the curve is from a French curve. I scratched the inside of the curves surface with a wire brush. I tried both Markal paint stiks and Reeves oil pastels. I don't know whether it's because the room is cold, the oils are old, or what, but it was very hard to make the colour malleable enough to go into the incised shapes. Really really messy. I used a blade to scrape off all excess colour, then fused with another coat of wax. I'm pleased with how this is going. There are a few more steps in this incising workshop, adding more layers. Updated photos to follow.

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