Monday, December 05, 2005

Making Medium

I spent the weekend making Encaustic Medium in the studio, Medium does a lot of things for the wax. It increases the melting point of the wax, makes it more durable and stable, makes the surface of the wax polishable. We use it to extend the pigment, and increase translucency.

It's an all day process, and well worth it. The first half of the beeswax gets melted, then Damar Resin is added. It takes a long time, 2-3 hours for the resin to melt. The liquid has to be strained. As Damar is a hardened tree sap from Malasia, it can have all kinds of things in it, like bug wings, elephant hair, bark, and who knows what. The strained liquid is poured back into the crock pot, and the other half of the beeswax is melted down for another hour or so. It is then poured into cake pans or muffin tins. Pretty alchemical, and for the recipe, you turn to page 95 of Joanne's book, The Art of Encaustic Painting. We will now sing from the hymnal.

In between tending to the Medium, I painted and explored working with texture and gold and silver leaf. Here are the results.

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