This is it, a snapshot of the first time I watched wax melting on a griddle, the first time I smelled the intoxicating aroma of warm beeswax. This was at Artfest in Port Townsend, Washington. My instructor was none other than Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch. After this introduction, I took every encaustic workshop I was able to attend. A couple years later, my favorite instructor, ‘Trish’, made the announcement about the first ever EncaustiCamp. Adrenalin rush! And yes, I have attended every year, this year as an instructor.

One thing that really bloomed for me from my time at EncaustiCamp was the approval and encouragement to experiment. A unique approach was taught by each of the instructors which gave me permission to really push into my own style and approach in my home studio. I did not find the need to hold to hard and fast encaustic rules, but rather ‘what if’s. This allowed me to make an amazing discovery by marrying a craft of mine to the fluid properties of the wax. In 2011, I made my first wax sandwich and soldered a pendant I still wear.

image002And that was just the beginning. Next came adding all kinds of little things into the wax sandwich, beads, string, paper, feathers, insect wings, and fibers.

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My heart stood still one day as I soldered a waxy pendant with a bit of Grammy’s lace. When the piece was done, I thought of my grandma and the dementia she experienced. The piece looked so tangled, so confused, and yet so beautiful. That spurred on a whole series of pendants dedicated to the memory of my grandmother, and also in honor of my husband’s grandma who was dealing dementia at the time.

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I look forward to EncaustiCamp this year in a different way than usual. I get the opportunity to share what I have discovered and to encourage further experimentation. I get to ignite excitement that will ripple into the studios across the continent, just like I had the fortune of experiencing in previous years. It is all so good.