We had a lady come to the centre to run a workshop on how to do encaustic art. It uses Crayola crayons, the best quality, and an iron. The less expensive crayons lacked the level of pigment for intense colours. The center picked up a couple second hand irons at one of the local thrift stores for the workshop. A travel iron would be ideal since it's a bit smaller. The facilitator had a tool similar to a soldering iron to make flowers and other more detailed objects but I forget what it is called. It heats up various tools to create different effects.
Basically, encaustic art is applying melted crayons, using the iron, to any kind of glossy paper. We tried photo paper but the plastic layer melted. Bristol board or glossy print paper worked the best. A linen cardstock added its own texture which created a different effect.
After we chose our paper, the next step was to put a layer of beeswax on it because it helps the melted crayon flow across the surface. The beeswax was bought in a block at the local health food store although beeswax candles would work just as well. The hot iron is applied to it and quickly lifted to spread this first layer on the paper.
It was most enjoyable. It took a bit to get the irons set so they didn't smoke. Low heat works best. The smoke is not good for you. The melted beeswax left an aroma of honey in the room that was very pleasant. The melted crayons? Not so much.
They are applied by holding the iron upside down and melting the crayon on the point. It is then applied to the paper. Oh, peel the paper off the crayons first.
It was surprising how many different effects the iron could create. By pushing it, pulling it, sliding it sideways or simply placing it on the paper and lifting it up created an astounding variety of textures. Throw in some different colours and the results were beautiful.
The iron was kept clean by pressing it on brown paper towel and wiping the base off.
The final step was to polish the piece with a tissue by rubbing it quickly. It gave it a nice shine.
It was suggested to seal the piece using podge, a clear drying adhesive, especially if you were using this technique to make things like bookmarks. It wasn't so necessary if it was going to be framed.
So there you have it: encaustic art. A fancy name for an opportunity to play, once again, with crayons.
"The glory of Lebanon shall come to you, the cypress, the pine and the box tree together, to beautify the place of My sanctuary; And I will make the place of My feet glorious." Is 60:13