Since taking a break from the travelling/teaching circuit, I have had more time just to play in the studio, and have been experimenting with many encaustic techniques, yet my favorite by far has been Encaustic Wabi-Sabi, especially as it applies to my Encaustic Shrines (you remember Wearable Encaustic Shrines? Well, these aren’t wearable!
The Encaustic Wabi-Sabi Shrines I’ve been making are larger, and have swinging doors, and glass windows. I have more space to play and explore the interior and exterior spaces because of the larger size. To me, they are just like making tiny encaustic paintings, only I also get to include my love of sculpture and encaustic casting!
As I create each Shrine, I enjoy the rich colors of the pigmented metal leaf, especially because here in the Midwest, my eyes get a bit color-starved this time of year! As I build up the patina and layer intense color, it emits to me a warmth; a spark of life. It gets my juicing flowing, and feeds more creativity into me. One shrine begging the question of the next shrine; each one speaking in different notes of the same song…a bright crisp song, in a place far from here, perhaps Thailand…Mexico…or the Caribbean.
The shrines themselves are very special to me, since my sister, Cheri, who passed to the other side a year ago, loved shrines of all types. We collaborated on some Shrine workshops in the few years before she passed, but we had meant to do more – in fact, we were working on two Shrine books together. One, on casting techniques for encaustic, glass and resin, and another on the history of Santos, which we both had an affinity for, with our Catholic childhood, and our memories/traumas of large religious icons hovering over us, showing us the variety of ways in which a Catholic girl could choose her martyrdom!
In a way, I feel like Cheri is in the studio with me, collaborating with me now, guiding my hand, or at least hanging out and enjoying the process. Well, Cheri, we’re finally doing a few collaborative pieces!
And with that, I’m off to the studio! Shrine-making awaits!
Have a blessed day and stay warm!