Monday, January 30, 2012

Encaustics Workshop with Daniella Woolf

I am just back from a five-day encaustics workshop.  What an experience!  If you do not know what encaustics is, go here or here.  The workshop was given by Daniella Woolf through North Country Studio Workshops at Bennington College.  Unbelievable group - the students AND the teacher were all accomplished artists with a lot of inspiration to offer.

One very cool thing with encaustic is doing collage on paper.  We did a group collage in which every student made one horizontal collage piece, and then we assembled them as a hanging scroll. Here is Daniella Woolf and Wen Redmond (do check her out!!) assembling the scroll:

 And the finished scroll hanging in the window overlooking the back field.

Here is the first stage of a self-portrait I did, as I am in the midst of my online class "Exploring the Self-Portrait".  I drew directly onto the wax (encaustic medium over paper laminated to a plywood panel) with china marker:

 I was not too thrilled with the mouth, so after scraping it off, I applied a coat of white encaustic paint mixed with a lot of medium over the whole thing.  then I cut out another mouth from one of my sketchbook drawings, and applied it with medium.  I added a few more details in graphite, and built up color and a bit of collage on either side of the face.

Here are a couple other photos from the workshop:

Another 8"x8" panel, "Ink and O's"

This untitled piece is on a panel coated with plaster.

This piece has many layers of wax as well as encaustic collage:

Shino is a kind of traditional Japanese ceramic glaze, some beautiful examples of which I found here.  The Alizarin Orange coming through the white wax reminded me of this glaze:

"Cruciform with Rust"

"Red Square 2"

"Red Square 1"

My work space

R&F Paints provided a vast array of encaustic paints and medium.

  I am so grateful to North Country Studio Workshops for granting me a scholarship to take this fabulous, life-changing workshop!!  I know it will enrich my work, and I hope it will enrich my teaching.  I am also grateful to Daniella Woolf for being so generous with her knowledge and resources.  She has two fabulous instructional DVD's available, which you can purchase here.


  1. The sewn together piece looks fabulous. What a fun process to learn. I love the pieces you did especially Cruciform with Rust. Such great color and surrounded by all the white makes it really glow and pop.

    Thank you for sharing all the links Jane!

  2. Gorgeous work - I started learning about encaustics in November, and LOVE it!! I will be doing a 3 day workshop with Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch in March, and am sooo excited!!

    I love how your collaged pieces work with the encaustics - very inspiring!!

  3. What a wonderful opportunity. What fun you had! Congrats on the great class and some beautiful pieces.

  4. It was terrific sharing energy and studio space with you as we launched to the moon and beyond waxing with Daniella and everyone.
    I adore your work!

  5. Beautiful! I have no idea what this encaustic is but your work is fantastic!

  6. Looks like a great workshop Jane. I love what you do and find 'red square', both 1 and 2, particularly appealing.

  7. fantastic stuff here Jane!

  8. Stunning pieces. I love collage always wanted to Ryan encaustics. Oddly, it is collage that got me into tapestry weaving if that makes any sense...

  9. these are beautiful. gosh, i wish i had know about that workshop. Bennington is only two hours away and i love the campus. went there many years ago for a month long writing workshop.

    also i have Daniella Wolf's video on encaustic on paper which is excellent.

    i will check out the link to the Bennington wkshops. thanks

  10. These are wonderful Jane. I particularly like the portrait with the changed mouth. Mysterious and kind of haunting in a good way!

    Also the "shino" one of my favorite Japanese glazes and many others numerous to numerous to mention.

    Do I detect a summer encaustic workshop in the making????????

  11. Also LOVE the scroll piece. Need to try that idea!

  12. You obviously had a wonderful experience! The work looks great and the workshop sounds like a high energy exciting experience.

  13. Jane, I love your work with encaustics! I have recently fallen in love with this medium too! I have been exploring new techniques with it (including photo transfers) and find it so exciting! I hope we can "fire up" and work together sometime soon!


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