Encaustic Week Day 4 – How to Make a Transfer on Encaustic Wax

Welcome to Day 4 of Encaustic Week! Today, with the help Michelle Belto's book Wax and Paper Workshop: Techniques for Combining Encaustic Paint and Handmade Paper, I'll show you how to add a transfer to your encaustic art.

image transfer on encaustic wax
'Going in Circles' encaustic art with
transfer by Michelle Belto.

There are actually several ways to add transfers to encaustic wax. I wrote about an encaustic transfer technique with carbon paper earlier this year, but I like this one from Wax and Paper Workshop just as well. It's an easy and versatile way to add images and marks to your encaustic art.

1. Make a toner (not inkjet) copy of the image you want. To save time, you can put several images on one sheet, but try to use them while they are still fresh, within a day of printing.

2. Cut the image out and place it face down on top of a substrate that has been primed with encaustic wax and fused. [See Encaustic Week Day 3 – How to Make an Encaustic Collage for tips on priming and fusing.] Burnish the back of the paper with a tool such as the back of a metal spoon. It's not possible to burnish too much at this stage.

cutting image for encaustic wax transfer
Cutting out the toner image
to be transferred.
burnishing the transfer onto encaustic wax
Burnishing the transfer image onto
encaustic wax.

3. Dampen a sheet of paper towel (make sure it is just damp and not wet). With the damp paper towel in one hand and the burnishing tool in the other, alternate between pressing the damp towel into the paper image and burnishing the image.

4. Continue this process, adding more water to the towel as necessary, until the paper begins to lift as you burnish. Make sure that all edges and areas of the image are lifting.

5. Add a little water onto the image and gently roll up the paper with your fingertips until all the paper is removed. You will see the transferred image. As it dries, you may find a light coating of paper residue.

6. Fuse lightly to saturate the paper with wax. Add a protective layer of medium, if you desire.

Note: the more layers of wax you put on top of the transfer, the harder it will be to see. So, if you want the transfer art to be more prominent, don't apply it until you're near the end of the encaustic process.

Michelle offers many unusual and inspiring paper-making and encaustic techniques in Wax and Paper Workshop. You can learn more about Michelle, the book, and this transfer technique on the Create Mixed Media website.

What do you think of this tutorial? Do you have any questions? Be sure to leave a comment or question below to have a chance to win one of our amazing prize packages with products from Interweave's Cloth Paper Scissors Shop, North Light Shop, and Jacquard Products.

And don't forget, we'll be giving away an additional five Interweave/North Light Shop/Jacquard Products packages on Pinterest. To be eligible, create your own "I'm Hot for Encaustic" board and include a minimum of two encaustic-related pins from our CPS community or store. Then, email your Pinterest link to socialmedia@interweave.com with the subject: I'm Hot for Encaustic.

Blog and Pinterest winners will be announced October 22, 2012.

Tomorrow: Jenn Mason takes encaustic to the next level—assemblage!


Blog, Mixed-Media Painting Techniques, Mixed-Media Techniques


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