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Q: What does "encaustic" mean?

A: Encaustic is a Greek word which means "to burn in".


Q: What is encaustic photography?

A: This is the art of applying molten layers of clear and/or colored wax onto a photograph and fusing each layer with a heat gun to set each layer.


Q: How is the wax melted and at what temperature does it melt?

A: The wax is heated at 180 degrees directly on an artist's hot palette or in metal tins that are placed on a hot palette.


This is hot enough to work with but safe enough for reducing fumes.


Q: How do I care for my encaustic piece?

A: Encaustic art is durable and  generally low maintenance. 


For removing dust and the blooming or dulling effect which may occur as the piece continues to cure, you may want to gently rub a soft, lint free cloth over the surface.


It's best to keep the artwork out of direct sunlight as well as away from any sources of high heat like a fireplace.


Extreme heat and cold should be avoided when displaying, shipping  or storing encaustic works.


Q: Will the wax melt if I expose it to direct sunlight?

A: Encaustic paintings will not melt in direct sunlight though they may become soft and tacky to the touch.  The melting point of this art is around 162F so keeping the work in a temperature controlled environment is best.


Q: What are encaustic wax paints made from?

A: Encaustic paints are made up of pure beeswax, damar resin (tree sap indigenous to Malaysia) and vibrant colored, dry pigments.


Q: Can I put the encaustic artwork behind a  glass frame?

A: This is strongly not advised since the glass can work to amplify heat from the sun which can melt or soften the wax.


Encaustic art is engaging with its rich colors and textured qualities and is best when viewed without a glass barrier.


Q: How is the photograph printed and will it fade over time?

A: The digital prints are printed  using pigment inks with long-lasting archival properties and on porous, absorbent paper like watercolor or 100% cotton rag paper which is acid-free.


If kept out of direct sunlight, these works could last for well over a hundred years!


Q: Where can I read more about encaustic painting?

A: The Art of Encaustic Painting, by Joanne Mattera, is a great book on the history of encaustic painting, techniques and artists' works.


Also, Embracing Encaustic: Learning to Paint with Beeswax by Linda and William Womack is a very resourceful book.