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  • Is encaustic painting toxic?
    Encaustic is made with natural products, and worked at a low temperature (under 200°F) to avoid fumes. There are people who are more sensitive to the smell so they need extra good ventilation. I've worked with encaustic for a long time and I've talked to many encaustic artists and it is considered non-toxic! Proper safety precautions need to be exercised in every artist’s studio to reduce the risk of exposure to toxic substances. With adequate ventilation and a working temperature that is under 200°F, encaustic is a safe medium to work with. It is important to use a surface thermometer to keep a check on your temperature. Encaustic fumes, when released at a safe temperature, are not considered dangerous. Yet, all wax mediums, when heated, do release fumes. Beeswax has a lovely natural smell and, if kept at the correct temperature, the effect of wax fumes is minimal. Only heat encaustic medium to the melting point, never to the point of smoking. Some people are more sensitive to wax fumes than others. If you develop headaches or respiratory irritation, try working outside or improve the ventilation inside your studio. When making your own encaustic medium, make sure you use damar resin crystals—not damar varnish which is toxic. Encaustic painting is solvent-free, eliminating the need for turpentine, mineral spirits, or oily rags in the studio. Proper ventilation in the encaustic studio will significantly reduce potential hazards, open a window, or install a reverse fan or fume hood. Using a Vent-a-Fume which has been designed for use in an encaustic studio is highly recommended.
  • What is your refund policy?
    I want you to be 100% happy with my online classes. Refunds are handled on a case-by-case basis. Please contact me as soon as you're having any issue so we can resolve the situation together. The "Encaustic Tapas" course is self paced and offers immediate access to all content; therefore, this course is considered final sale and not eligible for a refund unless a student has not begun the course (0% completion) within 7 days of purchase. If you have questions about any course on this site, please contact Andrea Carracedo BEFORE making your purchase.
  • How do you care for an encaustic painting?
    After completion of an encaustic painting there is a curing process of a few months. During this time moisture will work its way to the surface and cause a slight haze (this is called bloom). When the sheen dulls or looks dusty, it can be buffed (gently, firmly but not overly vigorous) to a high gloss using a soft lint-free cloth (similar to polishing or dusting furniture). The sheen dulls over time and can be brought back by repeating the process. Although the surface is completely dry, encaustic paintings can be easily scratched, gouged, or chipped if handled roughly. No fingernails, please! Protect all encaustic from extreme heat (above 140 F) and freezing temperatures.
  • What is encaustic?
    Encaustic is a painting method where color-pigmented beeswax is melted, applied to a surface and reheated to fuse the paint into a smooth or textured finish. This is a medium dating back to the ancient Egyptians which found revival in the mid-1900’s with artists like Jasper Johns and Diego Rivera. Encaustic is one of the oldest and most archival of all paint mediums. The word encaustic comes from Greek word enkaustikos and means 'to burn in', which refers to the process of fusing the paint. Encaustic has a long history, but it has been experiencing a recent resurgence in popularity due to the increased convenience and safety of heating appliances. The surface can be polished to a high gloss, it can be modeled, sculpted, textured, and combined with collage materials. It cools immediately, so that there is no drying time, yet it can always be reworked. The durability of encaustic is due to the fact that beeswax is impervious to moisture. Because of this it will not deteriorate. Encaustic paintings do not have to be varnished or protected by glass.
  • Why isn’t my encaustic painting as shiny as it used to be?
    I typically buff my finished pieces to a high sheen. Particularly in the first 6 to 12 months the surface may appear to become duller or even dusty. This is a normal part of the encaustic curing process called blooming. Simply go over the surface with a soft, lint-free cloth to restore the high sheen. I use a white cotton undershirt; pantyhose also work quite well.
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