Encaustic Mosaic Shadowbox workshop at the Coast Collective Art Centre

Posted by on Sep 24, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on Encaustic Mosaic Shadowbox workshop at the Coast Collective Art Centre

Encaustic Mosaic Shadowbox workshop at the Coast Collective Art Centre

With September arriving it was the ‘Back to School’ rush for us at home.  Back to making lunches, driving kids to and from school, and making sure that all their homework is done on time.  I got to be a student over the summer while I was enrolled in Jane Davies’ ‘Working in Black and White’ online workshop.  It was a fantastic experience – I learned new mixed-media techniques and also how to make ‘neutral observations’ about my own work.  More posts to come about this workshop – somehow the summer just flew by and I was so busy uploading my assignments to Jane’s class blog that I didn’t get around to putting them on my own blog.

Encaustic shadowbox workshop by Alexandra Reid at the Coast Collective Art Centre.

Cathy and Sheilagh are painting their Terraskin paper with encaustic paint and fusing with an embossing heat gun.

But now was my chance to play teacher!  I had been asked by Anne at Coast Collective Art Centre (Anne runs all the classes at CC) if I would give a workshop on my encaustic mosaic shadowboxes.  I had written an article for the magazine ‘Cloth Paper Scissors’ a few years ago, so it wouldn’t be like I was giving away trade secrets – some artists are very protective about their techniques – but not me!  This would be my very first class that I taught art to (I had TA’d botany and genetics labs to undergrads, but this was something totally different).

Bronwen and Cindy are painting clear encaustic medium onto a collage sheet (inkjet print on matte photo paper) and fusing with an embossing heat gun.

Jen and Margaret are cutting black foamcore squares and rectangles to mount their waxed collage images.

I had to write up a class description for Anne to put on the Coast Collective website and also price out what the tutorial portion versus the material supply cost would be.  I had decided to provide each student with the materials necessary to complete the project since both the equipment and materials for encaustic painting are a bit unique if you are just starting out with encaustic painting.

Students are preparing to assemble their encaustic mosaic shadowboxes at the Coast Collective Art Centre.

Bronwen and Cindy are gluing their images onto the black foamcore squares with a glue gun.

The day before the workshop, I spent the day preparing each student’s kit (Terraskin paper on a wood cradleboard, inkjet collage images on matte photo paper on a wood cradleboard, and a shadowbox frame with the glass removed).  Plus lots of encaustic medium and oil paints, electric skillets, heat guns, brushes, extension cords, powerbars – I was paranoid that I would forget some key piece of equipment at home!

Shelia and Lisa are cutting their painted encaustic Terraskin paper and preparing foamcore square mounts.

Cathy and Sheilagh are assembling and gluing their encaustic mosaic pieces onto the black foamcore substrate with template.

I arrived at Coast Collective at 9am which gave me an hour to set up before my eight students arrived. We did a round of introductions, I demo’d the techniques that we would be using and then it was off to the races!  I had the students work at different modules to keep things moving well, and by lunchtime we were on schedule to start assembling all the pieces together.  The workshop went very smoothly, with the minor exception of tripping a fuse with one of the heat guns (the Canadian Tire special – I retired it quickly), which luckily got reset quickly.

Jen and Margaret are finalizing their encaustic mosaic arrangements before gluing them down onto the substrate.

Sheilagh and Jen with their completed encaustic mosaic shadowboxes.

All the students were able to complete their encaustic mosaic shadowboxes and bring home their masterpieces.  It was amazing how different they all looked from each other – each student picked their own encaustic paint colours and selected different images from the collage sheet provided to them.  After the workshop was finished, Coast Collective provided feedback surveys to the students to complete.

Bronwen and Cindy with their completed encaustic mosaic shadowboxes.

Here are a few of the comments:

“That everyone actually completed their pieces, also one of the best organized classes I’ve ever taken.”

“Friendly instructor.”

 “It was fun and I learned a lot.”

“Great class size. Time allotted for class was perfect. Lexi did a great job!”

There were lots of requests for future encaustic workshops from the students – ones on basic encaustic painting, photo image transfer and making encaustic jewellery.  Food for thought for my next teaching gig!

Students’ masterpieces from the encaustic mosaic shadowbox workshop at the Coast Collective Art Centre.