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All Things Ampersand

Q&A with Encausticbord artist Dietlind Vander Schaaf

Photo credit: Michael D Wilson

Q&A with Encausticbord artist Dietlind Vander Schaaf

With work that references teachings from Zen Buddhism, Christian mysticism, the poetic traditions, and contemplative practices including yoga and meditation, Dietlind Vander Schaaf’s artwork has been described as “the transformation of disparate objects into elegantly simple compositions of pattern and grace” (Artscope).

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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
           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.

Featured Artist: Cynthia Mosser painting in Mixed Media

Fraternal Foliage, mixed media on encausticbord, 2011
Cynthia Mosser has been creating mixed media for a number of years. She has been drawn specifically to Encausticbord™ because its absorbent ground can handle the range and layering of mediums she uses  and because the cradled versions are ready for exhibition or sale without the need for additional framing. Cynthia says she also prefers the velvety surface of Encausticbord because she finishes her work in encaustic which not only requires a rigid support, but also a heat resistant substrate.
In this featured article on our Ampersand website, Cynthia shares her step by step painting process through a very detailed, movement-rich abstract piece.  Cynthia will walk you through creating one of her paintings, referring to the specific materials and tools she uses as well as sharing photos along the way.
To read more about Cynthia and see her process first hand: download the whole article

Or to see more of Cynthia’s own work and mixed media portfolio, check out her website:  http://www.cynthiamosser.com/

Paint On!


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.


• 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


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.