Sunday, September 13, 2009



Completed encaustic wax journals

Have you ever thought about working with wax? Years ago, I started working with encaustic wax. I love the sensual feel the wax creates when I brush and iron it onto my paintings.

Encaustic wax medium

This week I am working on my “Gypsy Woman Journals.” The way that I create them is by using an artists’ sketchbook and one of my batiked or painted faces. I glue the paintings onto the covers of the books with Modge Podge.

Journal and encaustic wax iron

Once the glue has dried, I melt my special encaustic wax over a medium heat in an old pan. When the wax has melted, I paint it onto the cover with a medium bristle brush. I let this dry for a few seconds and then I iron it, using a steady hand and not too much pressure. I work quickly. I bought the appropriate encaustic iron but I believe any iron will probably work. Make sure it is one you won’t use again on your clothing though.

Encaustic iron

The next and last step, is to place yarn into the ring binders. I also tie fanciful ribbon or yarn along each rung. That’s it.

"Gypsy Woman" journal

The journals pictured below will go to either New Mountain Mercantile, In Floyd, Virginia or Center in the Square Gallery, here in Roanoke. I may even ask my art representative, Kayla Finley, to present these to members of her workshops. I will also take a few of them to the Roanoke Farmers’ Market to sell. I always envy the women who receive them as a gift. I can imagine fine calligraphy written into each one of them. Unfortunately, my handwriting is so bad that I must limit myself to my keyboard. I blame my bad penmanship on the fact that I had to write so fast during the years I was learning shorthand. I think that is a poor excuse but the only one I have!

“Gypsy Woman”, pictured below, is a painting I experimented with a few years ago. I love the way the wax looks placed over one of my frescos. In this case, I did very little ironing and mostly just painted the wax onto the surface. The wax acts as a preservative. It also as gives the painting a look of antiquity.

"Gypsy Woman" painting

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