Encaustic is a wax based medium, composed of beeswax and damar resin, which is kept in a liquid form on a heat source. After applying on to a porous surface, the encaustic medium is then fused with heat to create a bond. It is a multi-step process, which requires careful set up that includes proper ventilation and safety precautions.
Beautiful effects can be achieved when combining pigment sticks, oil paints, pan pastels and other mediums with encaustic. One may create a painting in the traditional sense, or use this technique with photographs, collage, tissue papers, transfers, etc. The possibilities are endless!
The word encaustic originates from the Greek word enkaustikos, which means to burn in. Earlier use of encaustics was found in ancient Greece, where ship hulls were waterproofed with beeswax and tinted with brightly colored pigments. It was used in the Fayum mummy portraits from Egypt around 100-300 AD.
On a personal quest of “what else is there,” I came across the encaustic medium and began studying it at various workshops with respected encaustic artists. Blending my photography with the luscious lure of beeswax allows me to explore so many different aspects of both photography and mixed media, marrying them together.
The warmth and flow of the heated wax, the dream-like quality of a pour, or the excitement of building texture has an allure for me. While working with encaustic, I am transported to a place of meditation… time goes by without notice.
The possibilities are truly endless. There is so much to explore.