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All Things Ampersand

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.

Featured Artist: Patricia Seggebruch

 

Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch, encaustic artist, experimenter extraordinaire, inventor, camp director, author, instructor, and a mom of four boys is possibly one of the busiest artists I know. She is truly a presence in the encaustic community and a leading instructor on this medium, with several books and DVDs out to instruct people on how accessible this medium can be. She makes encaustic possible and reachable to those that are hesitant to start the medium or to work in the arts at all.

 


Trish has always been creative–sewing when she was younger, creating her own designs and trying everything new in different mediums and techniques. When her boys were younger, she was working in mixed media for an artistic outlet, and wanted to get more texture in her pieces. While starting with paraffin on her own and doing some research, she came across encaustic and took a workshop. There was no going back.  

 

Since Trish was already familiar with Ampersand panels for her other mixed media work, primarily Claybord, it was a given that she would want the perfect surface for heated wax. In communicating with Elaine Salazar, Ampersand’s President/CEO, Trish began to discuss what was needed in a panel for encaustic. Soon after, Elaine started collaborating with Richard Frumess at R&F Handmade Paints to create the perfect panel.  to create just the right panel for encaustic. Watch the story of Encausticbord™ as told by Elaine and Richard on our YouTube Channel.

There are so many advantages for an artist to work with Encausticbord. Besides the heat resistent surface, the board is ideal for mixed media, and even accepts watercolors and acrylics, a unique attribute of this surface.  And with the encaustic medium itself, there is no varnishing. Only a light buffing is needed from time to time to remove dust. Also, like all Ampersand panels in the cradled profile, no extra framing is necessary.

 


Trish has created a unique workshop retreat just for encaustic, a week long experience starting from the basics up to all sorts of mixed media and advanced techniques. You can sign up for Encausticamp which is taking registrations until Dec 19th for 2013. It will take place outside of Seattle on a beautiful retreat, with instructors from all over the United States. Samples of Encausticbord will be included for you to try.

Trish advises new artists starting in encaustic to just go for it. The medium can be intimidating, as it is unique in using heated tools, but Trish is working to make it affordable and tangible for artists. She explains that her purpose as an instructor is to educate the next generation of people who can bring the medium back to students. To see more of Trish’s work, signup for her workshops, see her products and check out Encausticamp, peek at her website:  www.pbsartist.com

For those of you living close to Seattle, WA, you can catch a new opening of Trish’s work at the Hanson Scott Gallery, opening December 1, with a gallery talk on December 15.  

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.

Claybord™ Box for Trinkets: How-to by Vickie Kammerer

 

This project was originally created by designer Vickie Kammerer for our Stampbord™ line of products. We are republishing it here since these techniques can also be applied to our Claybord™ Box Kit. This trinket box idea was inspired by techniques included in Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch’s book Encaustic Workshop: Artistic Techniques for Working with Wax. Be sure to check it out too.

 

Materials:
• Hot Plate
• Teflon Pan – small, to melt beeswax
• 2-3 Foam Brushes (hardware store)
• Phillips head screwdriver for box hinges
• Electric or cordless drill with small drill bit for hinge screws
1. Using the blue painter’s tape, mask the edges of the Claybord™ Box lid surface and the top of the box base. Using a foam brush, paint the sides of the lid and the base sides with the Iron Surfacer from the Rust Kit. Let dry completely. Then paint a second coat and let dry over night. 
 
2. Using a clean foam brush, paint a coat of the Rust Antiquing Solution over all of the Iron Surfacer painted surfaces. Let this dry and cure and then paint another coat. If you want a uniform shade of rust, paint subsequent coats with the foam brush. If you want a more random rust finish, use a sea sponge and sponge some areas lighter and some areas heavier. Let each coat cure in between. Repeat layers until you are pleased with the finish. Do not seal. Let the box and box lid dry completely over night after before moving onto next step. 
 
3. Remove all of the masking tape from Claybord™ surface. Plug in the hot plate and heat the Teflon pan. Place several pieces of natural beeswax in pan to melt. While the wax is melting, cover the wooden sides of the box lid with painter’s tape. Pre-heat the lid’s Claybord surface by running the heat tool over the surface until it is warm. Using the hake brush, paint a single layer of beeswax over the entire box lid surface then fuse (reheating with the heat tool until surface just appears shiny). Allow to cool. 

4. Paint a thick layer of shellacover box lid with a new foam brush. Let dry.
 
5. Using the butane torch, burn “spots” into the shellac on the box lid. Do this by first placing the flame directly onto the shellac and when it begins to burn the shellac, pull the flame away when the spot is the size and shape you wish. Repeat this over the box lid, moving the torch to where you want a new spot to be, until you are pleased with the pattern. Let the lid set overnight.
 
6. Spell out the word “trinkets” with copper letters and glue into place on the front of the box lid. Attach the enclosed hinges to complete the box–be sure to pre-drill the holes for best results. 

Caution:  Please use extreme care when using heat and open flames in the studio and always keep a fire extinguisher on hand.

Step 1:  Mask the top and inside edges of the box

 

Step 2:  Paint on Rust Antiquing Solution

 

Step 3:  Apply beeswax

 

Step 4:  Apply shellac

 

Step 5: Burn spots onto the shellac with butane torch”

 

Step 6:  Apply copper letters to the front of the box