Encaustic is the process of painting using beeswax. Beeswax can be used in its raw state or have color added to it. Dammar resin is often added as a hardener for the wax. Beeswax is a natural wax produced in the honey bee hive and approximately 10lbs of honey is required to produce 1lb of wax. It is estimated that honey bees will fly about 150,000 miles - roughly 6x around the earth to yield only 1lb of beeswax (530,000km/kg!). The color varies from white to brownish with the usual shade being yellowy depending on the purity and the type of flowers gathered.
I love working with the beeswax - from the fragrance of warm melting wax to the warm glow and depth of its natural color to its illumination and translucency in the final product.
Beeswax is very versatile. It can be sculpted, carved, layered over objects or used as a base for transfers. It can be left very textured or it can be totally smoothed out adding to its luminosity. It is so satisfying to work with. As soon as a brush is dipped into the hot wax and then taken out and placed on the canvas, it cools and hardens. It must be heated with heat tools in order to transform it into a piece of art. The wax can be shaped with hot irons, heat guns and heated metal tools or brushes. The more layers that are added the more luminous the final outcome.
I love the layering that is done with encaustic. It is a layering upon layer - each one heated and fused in between (reminding me somehow of life itself). Every time I work with it, it seems to stir me deep in my being. I can't wait to get another batch going!
Contact me to discuss the creation of a custom piece for that Special Celebration; wedding, anniversary, birthday or just to capture the memories!