Thursday, March 24, 2011

Waxy Birds and a Wonderful Waxy Class

I've been playing with wax again...and again, I'm working to see how far I can take wax on a 3-D surface. And, of course, the subject is birds. Waxy birds. I built a frame of wire and filled it with newspaper. Wrapped that with art quality masking tape and then applied three layers of old fashioned paper mache to complete the base. This crow wand was created with a beak I carved from a 1/4" dowel and wired to the frame before I applied the paper mache. I also wired the bird to the driftwood wand before any paper was applied. I let him dry thoroughly and painted him black, thinking I would use clear beeswax and collage to finish him, but I didn't like the results. So I applied a little bit of pastel, string circles torn from handmade paper and foil, as well as some colored wax to finish him. The wires that hold the tail feathers are part of the original wire frame. A little yarn, a bit of free form crochet and bells and he is ready to grace my garden!!

This sweet chick was created the same way except I wired in feet and a beak and attached cardboard wings before I covered him with paper mache. He was painted yellow and waxed and then round pieces of prin were collaged with wax and outlined with charcoal. Red pastell was rubbed over the print and the simple word "beautiful" collaged on his chest so he had something to crow about!

And finally my bluebird of happiness meant to hang from a string from above. He, too, is constructed in the same manner as the other two birds. However, I used copper wire instead of steel and made sure he was thoroughly covered with wax to make him weatherproof as he will hang in my garden as a scarecrow this year.
Last weekend I taught a great group of women the basics of encaustics at Collage in Portland. We had a lot of fun playing with various surface techniques over collage. I'll leave you with a sampling of their work. They all did a great job!

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