What wax is encaustic? Welcome to encaustic.co
Home of wax types on www.encaustic.co Wax only mixtures of encaustic paint for molten application Resin Waxes for molten use as encaustic paoint on www.encaustic.co Solvent Wax Paste used as encaustic paint with cold application - www.encaustic.co Water soluble wax as encaustic paint with cold application - www.encaustic.co

This is a small resource site for the spectrum of art known as "encaustic"

There are a number of approaches in modern artistic practise that can be embraced as encaustic working. Whilst molten application has been strongly adopted in some contemporary sectors there is a growing body of scientific evidence to support the belief that encaustic works from at least some of the Ancient's wall paintings were created by use of a type of water soluble wax soap applied cold.

encaustic : is there a definitive meaning?

Greek word: εγκαυσις (engafsis): means "to burn in"
Greek word: εν τη καυση (en tee kafsee) : a process of burning, boiling, heating or melting something by use of fire.
Ancient Greek word: Εγκαυστικη ουσια (egafstiki ousia) : a binding solution made with wax and turpentine and used as a polishing medium or varnish for furniture.
Greek word κηρογραφια : relating to wax-painting but a separate form than the encaustic of that time


Historic references explain encaustic as the wax-based painting technique commonly used by ancient Greek, Roman, and Byzantine painters. It was used for works of art; wall painting; easel painting on wood and canvas; working onto ceramics; colouring sculptures; colouring objects of metal, stone, wood (ships) and other materials.   Apparently, according to some histories, painters of this time were refered to as encausters or waxers. These histories claim that the word ‘wax’ was synonymous with painting in a similar manner to the use of the word "oils" in reference to an oil painting in contemporary art.

It seems that 'encaustic' was not the sole beneficiary of association with the word wax.

Modern scientific analysis of some samples from Ancient encaustic works finds strong similarity to modern beeswax and saponified compounds. It seems likely that rather than (or as well as) working with molten wax to produce the funerary portraits (e.g.Fayum collection) the artists used a wax soap compound that was water soluble. An application of heat (below the melting point of the wax) could be made to improve further water resistence. But clarity is not yet achieved and debate, discussion, research and specualtion continue.

encaustic.co is here to help direct you to a variety of sites which offer their own modern perspectives and methodologies based around and rooted in the multiplicity of understandings surrounding that term - encaustic.

This site is developed with an open concept to all explainations of encaustic that expand it's understanding. To suggest any useful long-term links please email your information to the address below. This site remains impartial and exists only to help.

mail@encaustic.co

Home of wax types on www.encaustic.co Wax only mixtures of encaustic paint for molten application Resin Waxes for molten use as encaustic paoint on www.encaustic.co Solvent Wax Paste used as encaustic paint with cold application - www.encaustic.co Water soluble wax as encaustic paint with cold application - www.encaustic.co