Beyond Beeswax – Encaustic Collage Ideas You’ll Want to Try

cate pratoWe've recently added a new editorial team for our sister publication, Stitch, to our Sudbury, Mass., offices. Among the getting-to-know-you questions asked between the new and pre-existing staff members is, "What kind of art do you make?" Followed closely by, "Oh, can you teach me about that?"

One of the techniques Assistant Editor Rose DeBoer (who sews and knits) would like to learn more about is encaustic collage and painting.

Cloth Paper Scissors Editor Jenn Mason and I promised to bring in some examples to show her. I also referred Rose to Jenn's week of blog posts on encaustic painting and collage, beginning with encaustic basics in this post, covering encaustic supplies and tips from the pros (with tips from Amy Stoner, Patricia Seggebruch, and Crystal Neubauer), encaustic painting inspiration, and finishing up with some of Jenn's own encaustic collage work to show the variety of techniques you can explore in encaustic art. The following is an excerpt from that blog post.

Jenn writes: In this series, I’m working with just small Encausticbords. These are thin wood boards prepared with an encaustic gesso. The small size (about the size of a baseball card) makes for an unintimidating day of experimentation. 

encaustic collage   encaustic college   encaustic collage
Try to Resist Me   Truly, Madly, Dearly   An Extravagant Waste
  • Old envelope front is adhered to wood with gel medium (on the back side only).
  • ”Sender” is stamped on the envelope
  • Encaustic medium is brushed over the surface.
  • 3 wax hearts are “painted on to the surface with a metal encaustic tool dipped into melted wax and then quickly painted onto the surface.
  • Old resistors are bent and attached using both encaustic medium and charcoal gray wax
  • Surface is stamped using a heat-moldable foam stamp and alphabet stamps.
  • Part of a letter is layered on with gel medium (back side only).
  • A coat of encaustic medium is added.
  • A stripe of white wax is painted on.
  • A Red heart is painted on as in “Try to Resist Me.”
  • An awl is used to carve into the cooled wax and an oil stick is rubbed over the carving. The excess color is removed leaving color in the carved areas.
  • Surface is painted with a coat of encaustic medium.
  • A small white rectangle was painted on the top left corner using a stencil.
  • Layers of colored wax and encaustic medium were layered concentrating in the bottom left corner.
  • Small scrap of paper was embedded in the encaustic medium.
  • 2 small washers were added with encaustic medium.
  • Metal encaustic tool was used to carve out small craters of wax revealing the build up of layers.

Jenn’s List of Try-able Techniques

  • Add lots of thin layers of encaustic paint (wax) in drips and brush strokes then carve away craters to reveal the layers
  • Cover a board with paper collage using gel medium on the back side only and cover with encaustic medium for a faded look.
  • Add extra bits of scraped away wax to another piece and heat with a heat gun to fuse.
  • Fuse a little longer than necessary to break up the paint and reveal the layers below.
  • Stamp your surface to create the base layer for your painting.
  • Add a little bit of text under one or two layers of encaustic medium and then cover with encaustic paint. When dry, scrape away the paint to reveal the words underneath
  • Scrape or scratch a pattern into the wax and color over it with an oil stick. Wipe off the excess color so that the color remains only in the wax.
  • Use encaustic medium to embed found objects in your piece.

Jenn's blog series on encaustic art has me even more eager to show Rose the possibilties of encaustic medium and collage. I think I'll have her start with Amy Stoner's excellent Cloth Paper Scissors Workshop video primer Encaustic Collage: Layers with Beeswax. Then maybe we'll have an after-work encaustic party. And, if I'm lucky, Rose will teach me how to read a knitting pattern.


Blog, Encaustic, Mixed-Media Techniques


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