Sunday, September 26, 2010

My Adventure with Encaustic Collage

I took a great class at the Canvas, Juneau's great community art studio, to learn about encaustic art. It's something I have been hearing about and I've been curious to try it, but I was daunted to try it just with reading some instructions. The class was great and went way too fast, and the process is now demystified. I can't want to get myself set up with supplies so I can work with the technique for my collages and handmade books.

Above is the first piece, and is more or less a sampler I used to try the different techniques and to get a feel for working with the wax and playing around with it. It is on a piece of plywood. The basics of working with the wax and the encaustic process is actually fairly simple, but I felt new on the learning curve indeed. I took a long time to play with this sampler piece (above) but then worked fairly quickly and made 4 more pieces with the time we had left in the studio.

We had a stack of papers and magazines to get our imagery from. I have to say I missed working with my own stash, and I appreciate my ready supply of vintage publications (thanks Grandma!) and graphic arts magazines I’ve collected over the years to cut up. Then again, it’s fun to have a challenge. For the second collage, I found a photo of the Eiffel Tower, and just to keep it from being too sentimental I attached it to some sort of mechanism I found in a different source. I tried not to think too hard here, and had fun with it. Still, I would not call this little collage complete yet, when I get my supplies I will probably fiddle around with it a little more.

By the third piece I had figured out the process and wanted to work quickly to get as much done as possible. The above was the largest piece, about 7 ½ x 9 on black clayboard. I cut out the components very quickly from 3 different magazines and worked lightning fast. I only used the clear beeswax and the bright red for some highlights. Fun.

The final two are my favorites. A door and a window. Metaphors. They have a mood, I think, and I feel that after trying the various approaches, restraint was in order and worked pretty well for these small pieces. Again, restraint with the pigments and simplicity, plus working fast and not overthinking things worked out for the best.

We also made a piece of handmade paper and used the wax medium and heat on it with the most incredible results! This technique alone was worth the cost of the class! The result is the beauty of handmade paper but with the elegance of a fine leather or textile which will be perfect for collages, book pages and cards.

It's hard to believe this was the first class I have taken at the Canvas. I had a great time and hope to spend more time in the studio there. They do great work there and I appreciate their presence in my community.

1 comment:

  1. Those are pretty stunning. But maybe it's just beginner's luck. PROVE ME WRONG!