Bridgette Meinhold Encaustic Care & Shipping
Encaustic is a very ancient medium made from beeswax and damar resin. Paintings made with encaustic have been found dating back to the time of ancient Greece and Egypt, meaning, that if taken care of, encaustic paintings can last a very, very long time. Encaustic likes conditions that humans like, not to cold and not to hot. Encaustic paintings are like all fine art and should be specially cared for, but they are not more difficult than most art.
Encaustic is like all fine art and should be hung in places to avoid sun and UV damage as well as damage from exposure to pollutants, human traffic and heat.
- Encaustic paintings should be displayed in comfortable temperatures between 50 and 90 degrees F. Below freezing temperatures could cause the wax to crack and above 120 degrees will cause the wax to melt.
- Encaustic paintings should not be stored near a direct heat source like a heating vent, a stove, a radiator, or other unit or appliance that goes above 90 deg F. The exception to this is that an encaustic painting CAN be stored above a properly built mantle above a fireplace. If the mantle and fireplace are built properly, meaning the mantel or wall above the fireplace are not warm to the touch, the painting can be safely hung there.
- Encaustic paintings should not be hung on a wall that receives direct sunlight for too long or placed too close to a window that receives direct sunlight. Not only is UV light terrible for fine art, the risk of the painting overheating even for an hour or two a day will cause long term damage to the art.
- People cannot help themselves with regards to touching encaustic paintings. They are always wondering what the material feels like and love to touch them. While a simple touch with the finger will not damage the wax, oils from people's hands will transfer to the painting and can cause damage over time. If the painting will live in a high traffic area, in a public space, or where a lot of people can touch it, consider placing it in a way that makes it difficult for people to touch. Also paintings placed in high traffic areas or tight hallways make it more susceptible to damage.
- The surface of the wax can be scratched or marred by human hands, rough cloth, or people brushing past. A simple scratch can easily be fused or reheated by a skilled encaustic artist. Large gashes or dings will require more extensive work by the original artist for repair if the painting is severely damaged.
- If dust starts to build up on the artwork, the painting can be cleaned and polished to achieve its original shee·n. Be sure the painting is cool to the touch and use a very soft cloth to wipe dust off the painting. Another clean cloth can then be used to buff the surface and smooth out any wipe marks.