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We have all seen the melted crayon projects from Pinterest. In fact, I saw so many last year during our genius hour presentations that I wanted scream. Melting crayons is fun, but there is SO much more you can do with the art of melting wax, also known as encaustic. I know it might sound dangerous or difficult, but I promise these three projects make it easy to introduce this medium in any classroom.
Note: Wax can give off harmful fumes, so be sure you are working in a well-ventilated area. In addition, these projects require heating elements. You will have to decide if they are suitable for your student population.
This simple project allows students to experience the magic of watching the colors melt and mix.
This project allows students to experience the magic of layering materials and wax to create beautiful images.
This project is the most challenging in that it uses a true encaustic medium which is created using wax, resin and pigment. However, once the work of creating the “paints” are made, you will be creating for a very long time.
I hope these three projects get you thinking about how you might incorporate encaustic art into your classroom. I still remember my first experience with encaustic art. I was seven and we melted crayon shavings between wax paper to create a beautiful sun catcher that I was so very proud of.
If you are looking for a modern encaustic artist, check out the beautiful work of Margaret Berry. I was able to work with her a few years ago when her work was on display at our local art center. You can watch a video of her working here. Encaustic is one of those wonderful mediums that can be very simple or quite complex. Be warned that as you start investigating this medium, you might just find yourself addicted.
Have you ever taught encaustic art?
What new medium would you like to introduce your students to this next school year?