This piece is a reproduction of an original encaustic nature print on panel. The maple leaves I used were collected near my home in Asheville, NC.
To create an encaustic nature print, leaves and other botanicals are pressed directly into the surface while the wax is still warm, leaving a surprisingly detailed impression. Layers of paint are built up, and the delicate veins and textures are highlighted with oil paint, creating a record of each unique plant.
An image transfer is created when I make a toner or pigment ink reproduction of one of my original photographs and transfer the toner from the copy directly into the slightly warm wax using pressure.
Encaustic is an ancient medium, and archeologists have found encaustic artwork on wood and linen that's over 2000 years old, and in good condition. The tree resin raises the melting point of the wax, as well as making the final surface harder, shinier, and more durable. While some collectors new to encaustic have concerns regarding its fragility, the medium is actually quite strong and archival. Encaustic, like any fine art, is best displayed out of direct sunlight and in a room that is between 50 and 100 degrees Farenheit (10 to 38 degrees Celsius).