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Encaustic has a long history, dating back to 100BC. It is an ancient process developed by the Greeks and literally means "to burn" or to "burn in". Encaustic involves melting beeswax with damar resin (crystalized tree sap) to create the medium then adding pigment to create the paint. The paint is then brushed on when it is hot and each layer is fused (or re-melted) to adhere the layers together.
Because the beeswax is sealed to moisture, encaustic paintings will not deteriorate. There should be no fear of the work melting in normal household conditions. The beeswax and resin will not melt unless exposed to temperatures over 160 degrees fahrenheit.
Hanging a painting in front of a window with direct sunlight is not advisable. Some encaustic colours may tend to become cloudy over time. If this occurs, simply rub the surface with a soft cotton cloth or a nylon stocking. Over time the surface remains its gloss as the wax medium continues to cure and harden up to 3 years.
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