Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Encaustic Monoprint Technique

Today I visited a printmaking friend's studio. Amy is experimenting with encaustic monoprints. I have never heard of this before so I was excited to have a demo. Here is the basic process:

1. Heat up the homemade heat box.

2. Rub the beeswax pigment sticks on the metal surface of the heat plate to melt them. Create a design on the plate with one or more colors.

Step 3. Lay a piece of rice or rag paper face down on the painted design and cover with newsprint. Burnish.

Step 4. Carefully pull the paper away from the heat plate.

Steps 5-6. Clean the heat plate with paper towels. Add more color to the heat plate and repeat the process to add patterns or more color to the print.

The smell of the wax is yummy and the pigments are really thick and rich to work with. I had a little play to get a feel for what the print is like (image below). Now I want to build a heat box and play!!


  1. I SOOOO want AMY to teach this at The Printshop!

  2. That would be so cool. It was really inspiring to see how into encaustic she was. Ask her!!

  3. How do you build a homemade heat box??? I want to learn encaustic. I love the effect it produces. Until now I never understood how it was done. Thanks.

  4. I have posted a follow-up demo (See May 6th) that shows a heat box in action. I don't have the plans to make one, but maybe they are online somewhere, I think they are quite expensive to make though.

    To make some beginners prints cheaply to see how the process works and to see if it is something you want to invest in; you can use a pancake griddle.

    No open flames or using the griddle for your pancakes after, not at all good for your health and safety! Walmart sell griddles with a drip tray that look perfect for $19 & $35. These would be great for experimenting.

  5. Do you know of a way to layer color on encostic prints?