Egypt used encaustic methods 4,000 years ago to preserve their art work, like old fashion varnish, this method has been found in the pyramids. This is not a full class in encaustic - there are wonderful books and videos, please read and learn more.
This is my quickie form of encaustic to try out new techniques and do little thumbnails before I do a larger project with all my encaustic tools.
First purchase some Ampersand Encaustic ATC (they are covered with special R & F encaustic gesso). Then using R & F Encaustic medium in a crock pot (must be the style with high, low and warm) and a flat candy thermometer that I keep in to watch so to maintain a temp of 200 degrees. Please make sure you are working in a well ventilated area because of fumes and NEVER leave the wax (I am married to a firefighter and safety is always first). It will take the wax about 30 minutes to melt, this is my quickie method, I keep it full - when I work on larger project use a wax palette and colors, and other tools.
Using a hake brush 2” that will forever be a wax encaustic brush after using in the wax – I wipe the brush on the side of the crock pot and lay one layer over the card (placed on silicone mat for heat and protection). Then fuse with an embossing gun (again part of my quickie kit – when doing large projects I use a man size paint remover heat gun).
Do second coat going in other direction and fuse (this is done after every waxing – move in little circles and when you see the wax shine move to next area. If you stay wax will melt off – I look at it sideways to see when it starts to shine and every added wax coat it will melt faster).
Pick your images from Dover Copyright free books, and make a copy, cut out (sometimes I do a transfer method, but too lazy to rub the paper off so many). See left photo. When laying down image wait till just warm and place down, then I use a small piece of wax paper (kitchen type) and back of spoon to burnish down, not to hard so you don’t make dips in wax, pull paper off gently.
This is when I take a single edge blade or a pottery tool and scrape off the excess wax.
Next, I took a dental tool, but anything strong and sharp will work to dig out Egyptian symbols. I just copied some symbols from designs in book. Then I used a Winsor Newton oil pastel and filled in the lines, used veggie oil on paper towel to wipe off excess. Dried - cut small strips of Speedball Simple Leaf – gold and copper. This stuff is so easy to work with being on paper backing and I tease that I must be related to Minnie Pearl because I love gold and glitter. I used a neat little tool from R & F in the cold tools to burnish down.
Then use Jacquard Pearl Ex Powders with a brush and aged the edges. Love the Aztec gold and Antique Copper for the rich old look. These are very versatile because you can mix with varnish, paints, gum Arabic and do a ton of different things. Photo on the right shows how I let them cure for at least 24 hours and then buff with Viva paper towel to a shine. Store wrapped in kitchen wax paper.
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