Encaustic Wax Experiments with artist Rebecca Green

We recently found a new way to explore the natural heritage of Boundary Way Allotments and Community Garden and are so excited to share it with you; introducing the ancient technique of encaustic art. An art making technique that has been around since approx. 100AD, encaustics uses hot wax to create art by painting, dripping and layering. The natural origins of encaustic work made it the perfect art form for us to use explore the natural heritage of the allotment in a new way. Luckily for us, we weren’t alone in our encaustics discovery and were guided by artist Rebecca Green. We had an amazing day of discovery and fun with Rebecca and we can’t wait to share the the processes & outcomes with you.

A piece of encaustic wax art

Layering the natural materials and the wax in trays

The first thing we did was to set up two camping stoves and place some old saucepans onto them. Bex then placed different types of wax into each pan and we let it melt.  The fun then began as we were given free reign to explore what the wax could do with the natural materials that Bex had earlier collected (we also did a bit of foraging ourselves). Two of the techniques that we experimented with included arranging our materials in foil tins, then either pouring or layering the wax onto the material; and also using the wax to adhere different materials to cork & pieces of foraged wood.

As well as using natural materials, we also used recycled material and papers

As the waxcooled we watched it encase the natural material and as we built up layers of wax the pieces grew in both size and interest. One of the things that we weren’t expecting was the sheer variety of art that can be created using encaustic techniques and the outcomes from the workshop were so diverse, really capturing the essence of Boundary Way.

Some examples created by Rebecca Green

Much like our natural toolmaking with Hannah Boyd, it was brilliant to be able to use natural material from the allotment and local area to create art. This process really helps you to appreciate the beauty in the natural world around us and we hope to do many more experiments with this exciting art-making technique.

Plotholder, Howard Berry Experiments with pouring wax into a tomato leaf

Want to see the results of the Bex’s workshop in real life, and also see paintings and encaustics by Bex herself? Why not visit our Sense of Place exhibition this Saturday, we will be at the allotment from 2-5pm and 7-9pm and we’d love to see you. For more information visit our Facebook event or see our Events page.

This workshop was made possible thanks to National Lottery players and funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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