Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A New "Player" in the Encaustic Playground!

Sharon Currier writes:
Loved your blog . . .always have such great ideas, (& with pictures), as examples from everyone.  This month I loved the two videos selected, especially the gentleman.  I'm not that familiar with encaustic art so it was nice to see two different ways, abstract & detailed, of using the wax.  Also loved the leaves done with the Stazon Baby Blue, Yogi's and Linda Blackbirds cards - everyone added interesting  details, the whole blog was great!  Never thought of trying floor wax or the latex glove filled with water & frozen.  Great job-thanks to everyone!  It's fun to see how creative people are & the fun & weird things they come up with.

In addition to all the nice compliments from Sharon she sent her encaustic painting, shown above.

She outdid ggd in the "Make Do With What You've Got," department!  We are going to tell  you about it.....but then caution you.....Do not try this at (your) home!   : )

Because she did not have any of the encaustic tools or waxes she did her own thing completely! (Love it!) First she drew her design with a felt marker. Then she used a potato peeler to scrape crayon onto her card.......put it in the oven......and waited. First attempt she called "a puddle of wax." Next time she pulled it out in time to have a nice background waiting for more shavings. Again, with the potato peeler she scraped crayon to form the final design you see.

The image above is the result. It is lovely in the scan.....but in hand (ggd is fortunate to have received it in the mail) it is remarkable....with layers and depth the scanner cannot catch.

Thank you Sharon!

 Caution....While ggd is a lifelong proponent of the "Make Do With What You've Got" school, there are problems with this approach.

First.....besides the profit motive (which, of course, is there) there are other reasons to purchase materials designed specifically for their stated purpose. With encaustics, the chemical make-up of the wax makes the difference in flexibility and longevity. Even with careful packaging and handling, Sharon's painting did crack. In the case of encaustics, it's tempting to use paraffin (ggd is guilty!) and crayons (guilty again) are great fun....but must be used judiciously (see Yogi's application)....they too will crack.

Second.....and even more important.....using your oven, which is a great, creative not recommended. When working with encaustics (as well as other artists' materials) ventilation is mentioned as dispel toxic fumes! Some artists wear masks when working with encaustics. Also, it is not a good idea to use the same equipment you use for food preparation for other purposes.

Another "hint".....In reading about encaustics and encaustic techniques FUSE is a four letter word to remember.....and use! One of the most important steps. Heat your work layer by layer or, as one writer noted, you will end up with an encaustic "phyllo pastry!"

And...From the Person* Who Started Us Down This Road...

It was *Karen Eberle's "embossed star" from a few weeks ago that sent us investigating encaustic as another way to incorporate stamp images.  Now look where it has taken us! Thank you Karen!

Here are three samples from Karen:


This one is a waxed board with a copy transfer.

This one is waxed board, wiped off some, with copy transfer. After wax I first put down tissue with writing and then the copy.

This on a beer coaster. I waxed a paper to it, it became transparent. So color from coaster shows through. Cut out brushes and waxed to paper, highlighted with white oil stick.

"Paint By Number" bird.
(Not really a paint by number...just the title for it.)

Just as the application of encaustics runs the gamut from cards to fine art (and of course, some cards ARE fine art!) and from abstract and random to representational and tightly controlled, the working style and finished results vary from artist to artist. We are including two videos which illustrate these show you that along that continuum there is room for all of us.......for our artistic as well as our working styles. 

This third video is a showing of encaustic works to give you an even broader view of what's possible.

Find  your place and enjoy! 

Don't forget to read (and add to) the COMMENTS below!
AND......send your address, in order to be eligible to receive a prize.


Question? Do you read the COMMENTS?
If not, look what you missed! In response to ggd's informal "questionnaire" last week, we learned a bit more about Fab and how about some more information about you?

Right now I am crocheting clothing for 18" dolls and tatting. I'm a needle tatter and card maker. Twice a year I participate in a craft sale and sell mostly tatted cards. I make all the cards for my large and growing family, often 8-10 each month and about 400 tatted cards for the two sales.

I use rubber stamps, clipped pictures, embossing and punches a lot. I do some work on my computer to use with my family cards too.
I teach some computer classes too.

in the past I have decorated shirts (remember when images were cut out of fabric, ironed on and then you used tubes of glitter glue to finish the edges?) and hair bows, both of which my mom and I would sell at fairs.

I have sewn, cross stitched, painted ceramics also.

now I mostly make cards. once in a while I will give them away but most of the time I shove them into boxes (have three or four of the medium flat rate boxes full, lol).

don't have many places online that I look at (usually I forget) but do go to a blog that lists many different challenges, for inspiration.

I craft because it is fun, to have something to do.
Join us with your information.....this is an ongoing request....we'd love to know more about you and what you do.
This was the "questionnaire" Fab and Jennifer responded to (Thank you both!)--
Since most everyone visiting this blog stamps and makes cards, we are pretty sure you do many other crafts as well.

So........tell us......
    • What crafts have you done over time?
    • What is your favorite craft?
    • What craft or other activity are you doing right now?
    • Do you sell your crafts? 
    • Do you use your projects for gifts?
    • Do you have a favorite web site (yours or someone elses) that  you'd like to call attention to?
    • Is there a craft or technique you'd like to know more about? (It's a good bet someone among the viewers here will be able to help you.)
    • Want to share a craft or technique or idea with us?
    • Most basic of all.....WHY do you do craft?
    • SHOW US YOUR STUFF.......Send scans of anything you are working on right now that you'd like to share.

Something you're really proud of or something you'd like some help with.......your choice.

See you next week!


  1. more wonderful samples! ahhh - using the oven, sounds like something I would do (yes, I know it's bad but you only live once rofl)

    1. : ) I'd go the oven route too, if I had thought of it! BUT, must be responsible...carelessly doing myself in is one thing...being responsible for promoting unsafe practice is another story entirely!


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