I first developed encaustigraphics in 2011 as I was searching for a way to repurpose my drawings, photographs and paintings. I wanted a material that would transmit light, like stained glass, but that could be used with any image I chose. I had experimented with numerous types of materials and transfers, but they were either expensive, gave low-quality results, or were toxic to use.
I had experimented with encaustic painting, but while I enjoyed the process, I still felt it resulted in an opaque, traditional 2-D form. But since I had the wax, I tried using it to coat digital prints. In my first attempts, the wax actually reduced the effect of the color on the prints, leaving them paler than the originals. Then the “eureka” moment— double the prints! I printed a second copy in reverse, coated each print with wax and then gently fused them together. Voila— the first encaustigraph.
Most people who see an e*graphic creation naturally want to know what the material is and how it’s created, but first need an explanation of just what the encaustic process is. Then of course the question: “Why did you call them that?” I chose the rather formal name “encaustigraphics” to position the process as being a new member of the family of encaustic techniques. I also wanted to create commonality with other art process names like “photography,” or “serigraphy.” I call the resultant material encaustigraphs, but my more playful and easier to write name for the method and material is e*graphics, (using an asterisk rather than a hyphen). I also enjoy the additional association of “E” with the symbol for “energy” used in physics equations.
So, how exactly do I explain what an encaustigraph is? My short version is “a lightweight, luminously colorful sculptural material.” Going further, I can explain that the material is created using encaustic wax and digital prints, and that e*graphics are easy to make, and can be formed into 2- and 3-dimensional forms by methods both simple and complex. This site is my way of showing you what I’ve discovered over the years, and sharing my experiments with and creations using this process with you.
One of my very earliest encaustigraphic suspensions from 2012. I was immediately entranced by the material’s possibilities to transmit light and color in a very new way.