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Heather Crain - Encaustics

A creative introduction to encaustics: the ageless 
wax technique with current creative trends in art
Encaustics requires the use of heat in three different forms; electric griddle, heat gun, and “wax pot.” Since we will be meeting and learning in a vintage building we may need to conserve our electric consumption, as not to overload the circuits. That being said, I want to encourage you to procure tools, but understand that during class you might only be able to plug in all, one, or none of them. Our workstations will be shared between 2 artists, so we will need to minimalize our use of electricity. A degree of flexibility will be required and enjoyed by all. Please purchase accordingly, and keep receipts if you need to return anything. Encaustics can be an expensive medium, but there are shortcuts. I’d prefer that you have materials and not use them, rather than wish you had purchased something and not have what you feel you need. Often times in classes people “share” or “swap” with each other pigments, papers, waxes, etc. and double their palette in just moments.

Electrical Supply

A heat gun, recommended Ace Dual Temperature Heat Gun (20176) $21.99. If you have a heat gun from your rubber-stamping days that works too. A hairdryer will not suffice.

R&F* Griddle, or Pancake griddle (Target, around $25). I encourage a pancake griddle because they are larger than the R&F* griddle and please get one with a temperature guide on it (not low, medium, high). The one you have at home will do fine, just dedicate it to wax and get yourself a new one for the pancakes!!!

Fondue pot or “wax pot” (again with a temperature guide on it that goes to at least 225 degrees). A cost friendly option is a small sauce pan that rests on top of your griddle. Please bring a pot holder if you choose to go this route.

Power strip and heavy-duty extension cord. (please label these with your name or a tag.) 

If you have any of the following feel free to bring them, but they are not “required”

A tacking iron (miniature head on a heat wand)

A travel iron (no holes please)

Any other head, etching, or burnishing tool.


(and usually what you already have on hand)

Assorted cans (Tuna sized and cat food work best) for encaustic paints (Muffin tins, Teflon is best, used is ok)
Inexpensive Bristle (natural) brushes wide and narrow (about 10 should do, one for each color)
Craft sticks or wooden coffee stirs, chopsticks (a healthy pinch to scrape, rest tools on, etc.)
Wood (not plastic!!! ) clothes pins, at least one for each pigment choice.
Small paring knife or straight blade.
Masking tape or blue painter’s tape.

Pigments, alcohol inks, fluid acrylics, stick pastels, pan pastels, oil sticks, charcoal sticks…..no craft acrylics please.
Etching tools including; clay carving tools or dental tools, sticks, (raid your junk drawer)
Smock or old clothes to paint in. Old shoes too…wax tends to drip.
Multiple sets of latex surgical gloves.

A roll of wax paper for burnishing and wrapping paintings.

An old rag or dishcloth (something really old and soft)

Small package of baby wipes (random spills and for hands that get “painterly”)

“Embedables” – feathers, stamps, bits of lace, moss, small shells, sea glass, old coins, tea bags.

8 to 10 ideas from Pinterest that inspire you. Search encaustics and bring them (printed out).

A laser copy of an old black and white family photo, or homestead. (transferred images may be reversed)


 Cloudcroft Art Workshops, LLC
P.O.Box 1202
Cloudcroft, NM 88317