Thursday, July 30, 2009

Taking encaustics to a new level

After about 4 months of playing around and learning the art of encaustics, I decided I wanted to make an attempt at more of a representational piece instead of a totally abstract one.

Out of that desire came "Afro Soul". I loved this whole creative process. It was a learning event for me.

Now there are some obvious flaws that jump right out on this picture. But again,that was part of the learning process. I am still learning to control how much my wax moves when fusing. And I double my frustrations when doing incision work. But never fear, I will learn the ends and out and you will see more encaustic creations along this line from me.

Also I was recording along with running my web cam. I had 30+ folks tuned in asking questions. It was fun putting on that learning demo for everyone.
Part I

Part II

Monday, July 27, 2009

The danger of toxic fumes from improperly heated wax.

Back in April or May, I decided to go outside on the patio and make my medium. In the process, I forgot to put down a piece of plywood to protect the patio from wax spills. (It's that gravel kind and difficult to clean wax from between the gravel.) In the process, a bee flew at me and I bumped the container and spilled at least 8 oz of wax.

Even though it was quite warm out, it still became solid so I had to get my heat gun to clean it up. Now here is where I was not too smart. I didn't have on a respirator mask and I was bent right over the wax melting (on a high setting) and wiping. I didn't work straight, I took breaks. But about 20 minutes in, I got this feeling like someone was standing on my chest and I could not breath. It dawned on me that I was there breathing in all these fumes! I went out farther into the yard to get some fresh air. It helped but I was still having some problems breathing.

I went to the emergency room and after two rounds of breathing treatments I can't believe I was so careless. I had to go have follow-up chest x-rays later that week and then again two weeks later.

I can't believe I was so careless. I just wanted to share this with everyone as a reminder to be very careful. I let my guard down with ventilation because I was outside. So everyone, please, please, please be careful.