Thursday, December 2, 2010

Framing an Encaustic Piece

Substrate movement can cause the wax on your encaustic piece to chip or crack so you want a stable surface, impervious to warping. I use gessoed board as my substrate, such as Rembrandt, but to keep the board from possibility warping while also protecting the edges of the work, I bring out this bad boy:

The frame can be made with a miter box and a handsaw, so no need to fret if you don't own a chop saw. I know this because up until a year ago that's what I was using.

Step 1: Photograph work. The frame looks nice and can add to the piece, but it also adds a mini shadow. At least taking a picture beforehand gives you the option of using either. One suggestion when photographing encaustic work is to use a diffuser. I'll post about a handmade version in a few days. This picture wasn't taken with a diffuser and you can see a glare on the wax. 


Step 2: I cut 1/4 rounds to outline the back of the substrate which will help stabilize it. I suggest using more substantial wood for your support as well as use wood screws in addition to glue, if your substrate is 12x12 or larger. Of course pre-drill for the wood screws. For additional warping support on large pieces, use corner braces.

As for glue, I like WeldBond because it rocks for all kinds of projects. It's not easy to find locally and my husband has resorted to ordering years worth online somewhere. Probably not Amazon, but I've provided a link nonetheless. Go local if you can! 

Step 3: For additional edge support, cut thin pieces of wood for a frame, producing a lip. Screw or nail in as well as glue.

I use these adorable little tack nails which aren't the best, but they aren't intrusive looking and besides, I have the glue doing the heavy lifting.

Step 4: Screw eyelet screws into the back of your substrate--I put them close to the side 1/4 rounds about a 1/3 of the way down from the top--being careful when you pre-drill the hole not to go through to the other side. Yes, I've done this. Nothing wax and a heat gun can't solve, but a pain nonetheless. Now add wire and you're ready to hang!

1 comment:

BethEllen Cohen said...

Thanks for these tips Cathie! sometimes I do little odd sized sample pieces on thin wood and wanted a simple and inexpensive way to frame them and have depth..this is it..