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Old 03-05-2018, 02:26 PM
La_'s Avatar
La_ La_ is offline
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substrate for encaustics

they say to use birch for best results with encaustic substrates and i could do that.
they say to never use stretch canvas - due to flexing being a problem.

but, thinking along the lines of what i have in stock already ... would/could the following work to make a solid surface?

taking a regular or deep gallery wrap canvas, flipping it face down on a flat surface and pouring in mixed/liquid plaster - an inch or so deep.
once dry/cured, why would/wouldn't that work as a solid substrate?

thanks for any experience or insight you may have on the notion

la
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Old 03-06-2018, 11:10 AM
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Re: substrate for encaustics

I don't know for sure, but I think that sounds BRILLIANT!
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Old 03-06-2018, 02:46 PM
contumacious contumacious is offline
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Re: substrate for encaustics

Quote:
Originally Posted by La_
they say to use birch for best results with encaustic substrates and i could do that.
they say to never use stretch canvas - due to flexing being a problem.

but, thinking along the lines of what i have in stock already ... would/could the following work to make a solid surface?

taking a regular or deep gallery wrap canvas, flipping it face down on a flat surface and pouring in mixed/liquid plaster - an inch or so deep.
once dry/cured, why would/wouldn't that work as a solid substrate?

thanks for any experience or insight you may have on the notion

la

Is the plaster going to be a support from the back or are you going to paint on the plaster? Either way plaster is not a very stable material when it comes to cracking unless it is quite thick. I would not recommend using plaster as rigid backing support. Your support would likely be too heavy with plaster poured in there.

Quite a few encaustic artists actually work on stretched canvas. I believe that most of them add a more flexible microcrystaline wax to their mix so it won't crack and don't use as much Damar resin in their mix. You can test your mix on a piece of loose canvas to see how flexible it actually is before working on the stretched canvas. Working on a rigidly mounted canvas would be much preferred. You might be able to fit a piece of hardboard tightly in the opening of the wrapped canvas, securing it with small boards along the edges but the joint between the stretchers and the backer board might show through. You could remove the canvas from the stretcher bars than put a 1/8" or 1/4" sheet of inexpensive hardboard on the front and restretch or better yet just glue the canvas on top as well as the wrapped edges, then add some "encaustic gesso" to the surface.

If you are using an open flame or an industrial heat gun, you run the risk of burning either the ground on the canvas or the canvas itself. Most grounds are not going to be very good for encaustics. They are too fragile and not absorbent enough. What I do when I want to work on a white ground rather than bare wood is I mix quite a bit of calcium carbonate into acrylic gesso so it is even more absorbent and resistant to the heat, but you still have to be very careful with the heat. Basically I try to duplicate the commercial encaustic gesso / grounds.
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:54 PM
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Re: substrate for encaustics

thanks cyndi
& contumacious, thanks for the ideas ... i'm going to give it a shot, i have to see what i can get away with. not too concerned about weight, i've seen someone use a pretty big brick of wax as a support [i thought it rather a waste myself]. i didn't plant to paint on the plaster, but i'll experiment there too, curious.

la
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Old 03-08-2018, 03:28 PM
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Re: substrate for encaustics

Try it out. I am an experimenter. As you know I mixed acrylic paint and fiberglass resin. The result is fabulous. (Looks a lot like encaustic too). It is also possible (for people who want to stiffen their canvas) to cut some plywood the size of the interior of the canvas, throw some glue in their and put that wood underneath the front of the canvas. You might need some nails around the outside edge. Instant canvas panel with the look of deep gallery wrap.
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Old 03-09-2018, 09:07 AM
contumacious contumacious is offline
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Re: substrate for encaustics

You are welcome. Keep us posted!
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Old 03-09-2018, 01:00 PM
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Re: substrate for encaustics

well, a bit of experimenting yielded a bit of results ... i did this all yesterday and today they're all still cold to the touch - i'll be waiting until they feel room temp before carrying on ...

2 small (4x4") stretched canvases with two extremes of plaster fill
the partial fill version worked well to provide a firm, unwrinkled face that will take encaustics well.

the full version fill that i taped a fake wall around so i could get plaster to the edges to cover the staples - leaked a bit, fell apart a bit [i mucked with it too soon, my bad] , but i'll try encaustics on the plaster side of it in hopes of something wonderful coming from it.

1 thin 'brick' - leftover plaster poured into a tin, it's only about 1/2 a cm thick ... it cracked when i removed it from the tin but i can use it [the 2 pieces] in an encaustic collage to add to the experiments.

1 thick brick that i can sand and use, it's a little over an inch~ thick. not sure exactly what i'll do with it, but that's what experimenting is for, right

la
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http://yourstrulyart.blogspot.ca Peace - When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know Peace
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Old 03-11-2018, 02:05 PM
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Re: substrate for encaustics

pic update:

back side of small stretched overfilled with plaster - i like the beat up roughness of this one. (size edit - it's actually 6x6", not 4)

thin [1/2 cm ish] plaster that broke - this one taught me how VERY absorbent plaster is - the wax leeched through to the back side so this piece became encased, basically, in wax. the mend of the break seems quite strong.
also shown in this pic are rolled dictionary pages (a failed collage experiment that didn't turn out as smooooooth as i wanted it). this led me to put a couple coats of encaustic on both sides of a parchment piece i had kicking about - ancient egyptians likely got away with that so ... i loosely rolled it up and it didn't crack

thick brick is close to workable. i'll be priming it well now that i understand how vehemently the wax leeches into plaster.

biggest drawback i'm finding in this experiment is weight (and mess - plaster is So messy!)

la
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Last edited by La_ : 03-11-2018 at 02:12 PM.
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