I can’t believe that it has been a week since I was at the 5th International Encaustic Conference. Last Sunday (June 5th) I attended Lorraine Glessner’s demo on Branding with Heat and Fire. Lorraine’s demo was about burning paper and wood as collage elements or as under-paintings for encaustic work.
If you are attempting these techniques yourself, make sure that you have a working fire extinguisher close at hand and take proper safety precautions so that you don’t burn yourself.
Lorraine demonstrated burning techniques on paper, all of these techniques can work equally well with fabric. The paper or fabric can then be incorporated as a collage element within an encaustic painting. Burnt tracing paper covered with medium creates disappears in the wax just leaving the burnt effect, lovely. Lorraine used a metal ruler to extinguish the flame if the paper ignited.
Lorraine demonstrated burnt paper effects:
- with wood burning tools on tracing paper
- to create lacy holes and lines in tracing paper with incense sticks
- with smoke from a candle to create soot marks on paper. Be careful not to ignite the edges of the paper! The black candle smoke leaves carbon on the paper that you can smudge or scratch into to create interesting effects
Branding on wood panels to create a scorched under-painting:
Lorraine scrounges for interesting metal bits that can create beautiful branding effects. When branding she has two trays that are clearly labelled for HOT and COLD. The metal pieces she is going to use start off in the cold tray. She then takes long-handled pliers and holds the metal item in the flame of blow torch until it starts to glow red-hot. She carefully will then brand the pattern of the hot metal into the wood (or on paper). She then places the metal piece into the hot tray. The metal will hold the heat for a very long time so it is important that you don’t touch it with your skin. Lorraine then used a piecing iron to add white encaustic medium into the burned area. It was a beautiful effect.
You can view Lorraine Glesner’s art work on her website. Be sure to checkout all the posts about the Encaustic Conference. But before you go to check them out please add your comments and let me know if you have tried any of these techniques.