Saturday, February 19, 2011

Wax and Rust

There used to be four guinea fowl in the garden where I work. From a distance they are a very cute and characterful bird, following each other in line like hunched backed old men. Closer up they are really strange, wearing what looks like white masks. Now there are only two and at times they seem to be quite viscous to each other. Their black and white spotted feathers are beautifully patterned.

A group that I belong to have the theme of ‘birds’ this year and are working towards a group display of some kind. Now I have quite a phobia towards anything which flutters, but I have braced myself to collect a few feathers and am making an effort to accommodate the idea of our feathered friends as a theme.

This is a combination of rusted paper, with some branding with a wood burning tool and wax. I have bought some dharma crystals and following instructions on You Tube have made my own encaustic medium. The only difficult bit was straining the black bits out of the dharma. I found that only a very thin layer of material is needed for the filter otherwise the wax cools quickly and and seals the filter. I am using an Batik beeswax, which is actualy much yellower than the pictures show. I like the yellow tinge, but I know that I probably should use refined beeswax. I will not be adding pigment so perhaps it doesn't matter.

If you want to have a go here is the link to the video. I left my wax in the wax pot rather than making little ‘cakes’ as it is the only way I can melt the wax at the moment. I painted on the wax with a brush and then ironed it flattish. Making the medium is quite a smelly process, so you need to have good ventilation in case of fumes. Also stir the beeswax and dharma well; otherwise it tends to congeal at the bottom of the pot.

The January session of my course consisted of making a lino cut having made a pattern from a randomly selected postcard. The results were limited but I made a couple of birthday cards for my sons and a sort of pouch bag from the material I printed on the day. I can’t say I that I felt satisfied by the day, and didn’t feel I learned much or came away with any new ideas or inspiration. Perhaps it was just down to my mood?

Its just occured to me that the bird may swallow the spider; I hope not, I feel quite protective of my new pet.


  1. I like everything I see here - especially the rust pattern next in combination with the feathers, and the cards... - no need to worry about the spider I think, it looks well able to fend for itself...;)

  2. I love the rusted paper Jackie, especially with that feather inspiration.

  3. Just to let I really enjoy reading your blog, I can't remember if I've posted a comment before. I love the look of the rust and the feathers, the spider crawling across my computer screen did make my stomach lurch, until I realised it wasn't a real creepy crawly! Very funny......

  4. Love the rust/wax effect paper.I have experimented a bit with wax recently too but only had white wax, I have just got some beeswax to try but havent got round to it yet. Im hoping to get a more yellow/buttery colour. Love your blog by the way, I'm not very good at commenting, but will try harder!

  5. I love the conbination of the rust and the burn marks - very interesting! My phobia is spiders - yours gave me quite a start! ;-)

  6. Absolutley love the rust marked paper with the gorgeous feathers. Lovely mark making.

  7. I hate fluttering things too!...

    ...pigeons, chickens, budgies....

    I DO like those feathers though... I bought a pack in Hobbycraft... flutterings there :-)


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