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All Things Ampersand

Encaustic Tools

Palettes and Heat
A heated surface is used to hold cups of paint or to mix color right on the surface. For health and safety, the recommended working temperature is between 180–220 F. This is the R&F 16″x16″ palette with attached brush holder and heating element. It is made with a sheet of 3/8″ aluminum alloy and has been anodized to prevent reactivity that could discolor pigments. Adjustable Legs make for easy leveling of the palette. Brushes, thermometer, and palette cups are sold separately.

About Brushes
Use only natural-hair brushes for brushing on and fusing wax – synthetic brushes will burn or melt and cannot sustain the heat. Use palette knives for carving and applying wax, modeling tools for etching and carving, all types of absorbent papers for collage. Even dip or pour wax onto the surface. The possibilities are endless!
To clean brushes after use, keep a container of soy wax on your palette. Work your brushes in the wax and wipe clean. Soy wax (actually partially hydrogenated soybean oil) is an excellent alternative to paraffin for cleaning brushes for several reasons. Soybeans are a renewable resource, unlike paraffin, which is a petroleum product. Soy wax is non-toxic, burns cleaner than paraffin, and is naturally biodegradable. Soy wax is also easier to remove than paraffin wax, so after the color has been cleaned out of the brush, the brush can be washed with soap and water and is reusable in other mediums.
Cold Tools
R&F manufactures a full line of Cold Flexible Tools that can be used with or without heat to create a refined surface. Designed after the tools that the first practitioners of encaustic used in ancient times these tools bring a modern sensibility to today’s encaustic artist.
Select from Circular, Oblong Angled, Diamond, and Oblong Flat shapes or a convenient set of all 4 tools. These tools are made of high carbon steel and are expertly finished.

Heated Tools
R&F Handmade Paints also offers heated encaustic tools to help the professional artist finesse the surface of their paintings with control and precision like never before at an affordable price point.  The Heated Hand Tools consists of the R&F handle, temperature regulator and an array of attachments that include flexible flat tips, as well as iron, horn and burnisher shapes. The flat tipped tools are offered in a set of 3.

Where to find Encaustic Tools: 
Palettes, brushes, cold tools, heated tools from Ampersand
Heating tools from Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch  
Supplies from Wax Works West
 
Click here for more information on Encaustic Resources.

All things Ampersand,
Karyn Meyer-Berthel
Artist & Social Media Specialist
Ampersand Art Supply

Click here to explore the full selection of Ampersand panels and tools.

Encaustic Artist Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch Paints on ATCs

Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch is known for her dynamic encaustic approach and inspiring instruction.  When Ampersand first came out with Artist Trading Cards in Encausticbord™, Patricia jumped on board to try them and demonstrate a project for us.

Ampersand first won my heart when I began translating my creative bent from mixed media work into encaustic on Claybord™. The luminous white surface, solid foundation and delectable option of a 2″ cradle all married beautifully with the ancient, yet contemporary feel of encaustic. Imagine my delight when I learned that Ampersand improved on this near-perfect relationship with new Encausticbord™ that offers the best of two worlds: R&F’s encaustic gesso paired with Ampersand’s expert wood panels and advanced coating technology.

The use of ATCs or “Artist Trading Cards” arose a few years ago as the next big art movement. Exploding on the scene, potentially as the next ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ trend, ATCs have managed to gain a permanent foothold. Ampersand has embraced this tradable palm-sized art form and I find myself embracing these miniature delights right back. I jump with both feet into Ampersand’s delicious Encausticbord ATCs! I adore R&F’s encaustic paints and mediums and put them to task here, along with Daniel Smith’s luscious oil paints. By choosing this triune of materials: Encausticbord, R&F Encaustic and Daniel Smith oils, I have assuredly set myself up for success!

To begin these paintings, and any paintings in encaustic, I first prime the board, though not in the traditional sense to which you may be accustomed. The priming is done with an initial layer of encaustic wax medium fused to the substrate with heat. Before applying this prime layer, I warm the Encausticbord first so that the wax will flow more evenly over the surface. This can be done by using a heat gun or by placing it on a hot plate/palette until the panel is warm to the touch. Use a natural bristle brush to quickly cover the panel with long smooth strokes that slightly overlap each other. Then, heat or “fuse” the whole surface to an even “wetness” and until there is a perfectly even film of wax covering the ground. Each layer of wax should be fused in this way before applying the next. For a few more basic tips on encaustic, visit: www.encausticcenter.com


For this project, I worked on multiple ATCs at once which gave me the opportunity to hang them as a multi-storied group or to hand them out as individual ATCs (fig.1). After applying the initial priming layer, I placed chip board die cut letters over the entire group of 12 ATCs and sprayed alcohol inks over them to create stencil effects (fig. 2). Once the ink dried, I removed the letters. Then, using a natural bristle brush, I applied a layer of R&F’s encaustic medium (made from beeswax and damar resin) (fig. 3).

I decided to paint stripes of R&F encaustic color across all the boards to unify them. I masked off the stripes with tape, painted them in with R&F color, then removed the tape while the wax was still tacky and then fused the layer (fig. 4). I collaged in Daniel Smith decorative papers (encaustic medium being its own wonderful glue) and then I fused again. For soft glazes of color, I rubbed on Daniel Smith oil paints and then wiped them away to show relief texture. Lastly, I dropped a touch of metal fleck glitter inside simple metal circles and melted them into place (fig. 1) This collection was inspiring to create. Enjoy!

Remember that Encausticbord, along with Claybord, Hardbord, Gessobord and ALL the Artist Panels are now on sale through the end of September.  Find a participating retailer near you: www.ampersandart.com/retailers

Click here to explore the full selection of Ampersand panels and tools.

Encaustic Painting Resources

Artist Trading Cards by Trish Seggebruch

Greek artists as far back as the 5th century B.C. practiced encaustic painting. The word “encaustic” comes from Greek and means to “burn in”, which refers to the process of fusing the paint. Perhaps the best known of all encaustic works are the Fayum funeral portraits painted in the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D. by Greek painters in Egypt. In the 20th century, the availability of portable electric heating implements and the variety of tools has made encaustic a far less formidable technique. This factor has created a resurgence of encaustic painting, and it is once again taking its place as a major artists’ medium. Alfonso Ossorio, Jasper Johns, Lynda Benglis, Robert Morris, and Nancy Graves are prominent among the many artists who turned encaustic into a modernist and cross-disciplinary medium.

Encaustic Tools 
Palettes, brushes, cold tools, heated tools from Ampersand
Heating tools from Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch 
Supplies from Wax Works West
 
Encaustic Instruction
Books by Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch 
R&F Handmade Paints articles on starting and working in Encaustic  R&F Handmade Paints Blog on Encaustics
Encaustic with a Textile Sensibility by Daniella Woolf
The Encaustic Studio by Daniella Woolf
Embracing Encaustic: Learning to Paint with Beeswax by Linda Womack
Wax Works West in Corralitos, CA for learning encaustic
Encaustic Art Institute
The Encaustic Center in Richardson, TX

Encaustic Resources
R&F Handmade Paints Resource Center
           ■ Instruction
           History
           FAQs
           Technical Sheets

Lisa Pressman


Some Encaustic Artists using Encausticbord
Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch
Cynthia Mosser
Elise Wagner
Cheryl Finfrock
Franciso Benitez 
Lisa Pressman 
Gwendolyn Plunkett
Brad Ellis
Daniella Woolf
Laura Moriarty
Linda Womack

Encaustic Workshops
Wax Works West in Corralitos, CA for learning encaustic
Video Workshops with Linda Womack
Encaustic Art Institute
The Encaustic Center in Richardson, TX
Encausticamp with Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch
Workshops in Australia
Elise Wagner Workshops
Francisco Benitez Workshops
Lisa Pressman Workshops

Encaustic Videos
YouTube Encaustic Playlist
Video Workshops with Linda Womack

Only Encausticbord has a ready to use surface formulated for the unique demands of encaustic painting and mixed media. Encaustic gesso is applied to Ampersand’s sealed Hardbord™ panel to form a bright, smooth and velvety surface that is ready to use with the ancient technique of encaustic painting. The ground is not only heat resistant and highly absorbent, but also holds tight to layers of wax and collage without the fear of cracking or separation.  

Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch gives a downloadable demonstration on creating encaustic trading cards:  www.ampersandart.com/featuredartist/featured-artist-baldwin.html

Lisa Pressman shares the Top Five reasons to paint on Encausticbord here on our blog:  ampersandartsupply.blogspot.com/2011/01/top-five-reasons-to-use-new.html 

And now, Encausticbord is on sale for up to 40% at participating retailers!

All things Ampersand, 
Karyn Meyer-Berthel 
Artist & Social Media Specialist 
Ampersand Art Supply 

Click here to explore the full selection of Ampersand panels and tools.

Get Ready for Back to School with Ampersand

Ampersand Booth at Namta in Phoenix, 2011

 

We are back from a successful trip to Phoenix where we attended the annual NAMTA (National Art Materials Trade Association) trade show. We showcased a number of new display items for retailers for the Fall Back to School Season. If you missed us at the show, be sure to contact us for pricing and details on these great new displays for your store. And artists, be on the look out for these displays this Fall!

First, we have a new Artist Panel™ Pallet Stacker. Easily unload it right from the truck into your store. Available in both mixed 3/4″ and 1.5″ profiles or in just the 1.5″ profile. It comes with the bright green skid! 

New Artist Panel Pallet Stacker for Fall

 

Next, we have a new product. It’s a smooth version of the Artist Panel™ that can be used with oils, acrylics and mixed media. It’s perfect for the artist who prefers a smoother surface in contrast to the canvas texture of the standard Artist Panel. Portraits, landscapes, this is your surface. The 1/8″ profile fits nicely into pochade boxes as well. Prices to artists start as low as .59 each! This little counter top display was very popular at the show. Contact us if you’d like to get one for BTS.

New Smooth Artist Panel in a compact counter top display for Fall

 

And, we have these fun Gessobord™ blow-out multi-pack boxes. Each box comes filled with Gessobord and priced to sell. We have four varieties available each packed with top selling skus. Contact us for pricing.
 

Gessobord Blow-Out Sale Multi-Pack boxes for Fall

 

And last, but not least! Scratchbord™ artist Linda Sheets designed six new scratchbord kits and showcased them at the show. The new kits feature the most adorable characters. She created over 100 monkeys and dogs in scratchboard for our dealers over the course of the show. The new kits will be available in stores for Fall. Contact us for pricing and availability.
 

Linda Sheets monkeying around

 

“Crowned Monkey”, one of Linda Sheets’ new kit designs

 


All of these new store displays will be available for shipping mid-late June. 
 

In other news, we’d like to congratulate our newest Encaustic Painting Center, Sarnoff Artist Materials. They picked up our show display and loaded it right into their store that weekend. Tucson artists can now buy all the Encausticbord™ and R&F handmade paints and accessories they could possibly desire. See the store for details.
 


We did manage to explore some of the sites in Phoenix, there was plenty of wonderful art in public places and museums just waiting for us to find.

 

Ampersand’s own Dana Brown and friend

 

500 Hopi Katsina dolls at the Heard Museum

 

And, of course we got to see some good friends.

Patti Brady from Golden® modeling our swag.

 


Our friends at R&F were right across from us.