Birch panels are a wonderful substrate for encaustic art. At the Fifth International Encaustic Conference I met Jane Bowen-Longman. Jane is an artist working in encaustic and the owner of Jane’s Frames – custom picture framing, artist quality birch panels and Jane’s encaustic studio & gallery. Jane’s Frames is in Fergus, Ontario so I didn’t need to go all the way to Provincetown to meet her! Jane was selling artist-quality birch panels in the Conference vendor room.
I have used two of the three panels that I received from Jane and I really like them. They are light-weight compared to other wood surfaces that I’ve used in the past. If an encaustic painting has a lot of layers it can get very heavy so starting with a lighter weight substrate is nice. I like that panels are easy grip eliminating the balancing act I often find myself doing. Birch is absorbent, smooth and wonderful to paint on.
Artist-quality birch panels are available in standard as well as custom sizes from Jane’s Frames. Panels are made from baltic birch for the face of the panels, the 3/4″ cradle is available in varying depths and is constructed from baltic birch or furniture grade maple plywood, this creates an attractive side which doesn’t require painting. Bracing is used in medium to larger sized panels to prevent warping. Available gessoed by request. Panels are available from http://www.janesframes.ca.