Wax On, Wax Off

Today was a work at home day. I was supposed to be working at the ski resort but an unfortunate February rainstorm changed those plans. Part of my at home work involved balancing the checkbook and depositing checks. Answering some emails. Repricing some pieces. Making arrangements to meet with a gallery owner this week (fingers crossed!) and covering some photos in encaustic wax so Randy can get them mounted and framed. 

We use a lot of encaustic in our work and I thought I would take the time to explain a little about it. The encaustic process when used in photography refers to applying hot beeswax over a photographic image. This wax can be pigmented with color or remain white or creamy beige and it can give the image an intriguing surface and density, adding depth to the photo. Generally we use no pigment in our mixture, just the beeswax itself. The wax we use however does have an added component. Beeswax on its own will remain soft; the addition of damar resin raises the melting temperature and will allow the beeswax to cure and harden over time creating a glasslike finish. Encaustic has been around for thousands of years in the form of painting. You can read more about that here; Encaustic Painting.

Is it hard to care for? No. For more info on how to transport and care for encaustic work, you can read about it here; Caring for Encaustic.

Unfortunately today I had some issues and out of the approximate 5 hours I attempted to work on applying encaustic medium to the 10 or 12ish pieces I have backing up for me, I only finished one. The wax I made ended up being too yellow. We used some unbleached natural wax that was just too dark in color for what we need it for. I made some more of the clearer wax and mixed it together and it was still too dark. Growl. I ended up melting the wax I already applied off of three pictures and then spilled hot wax all over the kitchen counter. Double growl!! Not happy. A lot of work for not much to show for it. Sigh....let me sing some rainy day working at home blues.