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.
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?