I had the pleasure of attending the Mini-Encaustic Workshop at R&F Paints in Kingston, NY last weekend. It's a really great intro to encaustics. We began with a tour of R&F, which included the history of encaustics (using this cool timeline they have on the wall), a quick look at the gallery as they were setting up for an opening that night, then off to the factory. It was really interesting seeing how the paints are made. All R&F paints are handmade and we saw molds of various encaustics setting up. It's all in one big room with a smaller side room used for handling the pigments. Next was into the workshop room, which adjoins the factory room.
The workshop room has several stations (2 per table) that each has a palette especially for encuastics, heat gun and large workspace. In the back of the room there are 2 stations that have electric frying pans full of encaustic medium and heat guns. Really nice for laying down the first layers. The ventilation was excellent.
Our workshop leader (she didn't mention her name) took us through the safety issues. I appreciated her very thorough presentation and she had some good, helpful tips. She then demonstrated the basics and did some transfers as well. Then it was off to our stations to start playing.
It was so much fun being able to try all those colors I've been drooling over! I've added a few more to my must have someday list. I didn't finish any projects because I was playing too much, but that's ok.....it was my intention! I really loved the palette, especially working on the surface. It was so smooth and was wonderful to mix on. It's not cheap, so it's on my dream list. For now my setup will work just fine. I ended the day by purchasing the raw materials to make my own medium, some tools and oil sticks.
On my way out, I met Richard (RF), who founded the company. He's a delightful man and I could see why the atmosphere there is the way it is, relaxed and friendly and not at all intimidating. I highly recommend the workshop to anyone who wants to give encaustics a try. But be careful.....you'll get hooked!!!