Encaustic Workshops in Ontario

Encaustic Teachers

I have been teaching encaustic since 2002, and leading creative workshops for over 25 years. I love teaching this medium because it lends itself to experimentation, which allows for a sense of freedom and play in the classroom. Recently, we have added some new teachers: Daniel Beirne (introductory workshops), Tania Willems (photography/encaustic), Christina Lovisa (Mixed Media: 2 Worlds Collide!) and Jane Burgess (Accretion: creating amazing textures in encaustic)! All are enthusiastic, experienced and talented encaustic artists—most having gone through a teacher training program with me. To find out more and/or to register, go to our new Waxworks Website!


Learn Encaustic at the Alton Mill, Caledon, Ontario

We offer on-going, 1 to several day workshops, and now have a half-day introduction. No previous artistic experience is needed for any of our Encaustic 1 or Half-day Workshops. Experience is needed for all of our other workshops and for Open Studios.

All of our workshops take place at our encaustic school: ‘the hive’ in the Alton Mill, near Orangeville, Ontario. The Alton Mill Art Centre is a wonderful place to come and visit, with over 30 artists, galleries, and a fresh food bakery and cafe on site. Walking trails through the woods make this a fantastic getaway.

NOTE: Pre-registration is required for all workshops, and Give it a Whirl! Dates listed may change, so please check first, via email or phone.

Available Encaustic Workshops:

INTRODUCTORY WORKSHOPS: Full day Intro includes: brief history, safety concerns, the use of the heat gun, blow torch and iron as fusing tools, mixing colours, basic layering, creating smooth/textured surfaces, incorporating collage, photo transfer, incising, gouging and filling gouges with medium and oil paint.

Half-day Intro: includes all of the above except: mixing colours, incising and the use of oil paint on the surface.

Technique Toolbox*- DAY 1: Working with glazes of colour to increase transparencies, colour layering in encaustic, working on boards with encaustic gesso/chalk or fossil paint, clay tiles, transfer papers (foils, carbon, graphite, etc.), masking off areas, stencils, water on the wax, intense vs. subtle colour layering, india ink on wax/transparent papers, tips for difficult collage items, and making grids/straight lines.

Technique Toolbox* – DAY 2: Gold/silver/copper leaf, scraping at layers, pastels, transferring with colour photocopies and magazines, working on drywall compound, Plexiglas, rusted metal, steel plates, advanced glazing techniques, working with 3-D collage elements, Pan Pastels, stamping with wooden/rubber stamps, Neocolours, Woody’s, oil sticks, ironing techniques explored and wax blocks.

* Prerequisite: Full or half day introduction

Sinking In/Dive Deep*: these two day intensives (with the option of a third day open studio) focuses on the creative process, with time for group discussions, 1:1 time with Andrea, written exercises, brainstorming, trying out a few new techniques, and lots of time to ‘sink in’ to your practice! Note: students bring their own substrates.

*Prerequisite: Introductory workshop and one of the technique toolbox workshops (or equivalent)

Which Encaustic workshop is right for me?

Introductory Encaustic Workshops give students a chance to try it out during a half or full day. Basic layering, introduction to the fusing tools (iron, heat gun and blowtorch) as well as photo transfer and basic collage will be demonstrated. Can be morning or afternoon.  No experience needed.

Technique Toolbox workshops are intended for those who have a) taken encaustic workshops/classes with me/someone else in the past and/or b) those who have been experimenting with encaustic on their own. It is important that the student have experience with all three fusing tools: the iron, heat gun and blowtorch. The focus of each builds on the one before, with new techniques being added, increasing in complexity. It is fine to take Technique Toolbox Day 1 and Day 2 out of sequence.

Sinking in/Dive Deep (into the creative process) workshops are intended for those who have done enough technique driven courses for awhile, and want to use the techniques that they have to explore their unique creative process. If you want to dive into what is going on as you create, how to talk about your art, how to strengthen your ‘self-mentoring’ muscle, then these are your workshops. For advanced students, as focus is on process, not technique driven. Small group exercises, 1:1 time with Andrea, written homework and time to work on your art make up this two day workshop (with the option of a third day open studio to continuing exploring…)

Give it a Whirl! provide an opportunity for students to attend a mini workshop… great for all ages, 7+ please (with an adult present). We will be working on matt board, by the end of the hour you’ll have several small samples to take home!

Our workshops are usually self-directed, which means that we don’t teach people to paint in a particular way, but rather support each student to explore their own creativity. There is sharing within the class, as students inspire each other to try new things. Encaustic is a uniquely spontaneous medium, and working with wax helps one to let go of “attachment to outcome”. Students are encouraged to take risks, let go of preconceived ideas/attachment to outcome, and most of all, to have fun exploring this versatile medium.

For workshops/classes, all supplies provided – exception: Open Studio and Sinking In (bring your own boards to work on)

If classes are full, we can add your name to the waiting list… Call: 519-323-3437


A few words from students…

“I was able to break through my fears, reaching out and trying new things. The energy was the best – I am more willing to surrender and trust. I’ve been looking for that for five years. It was the best workshop ever!” Heather, after a 4 day Intensive: Sinking In Even Further

“Dan was so helpful – he had a great sense of when to leave space and when to step in. I would absolutely recommend this to my friends!” Darlene, from the hive

“Andrea’s teaching style really encourages experimenting and risk-taking. It opens up a creative channel because you are not afraid to make mistakes. Such a great, creative exploration – thanks so much!” Penny, from ‘the hive’

“…thank you for a wonderful learning weekend. I had a great time and you are a terrific teacher. I will be busy in my studio this week applying what I learned – can’t wait to get started.” Elsie Campbell, after Encaustic 1 & 2 at ‘the hive’ in Alton

“Andrea is an excellent teacher. She demonstrates each step and method slowly, in a logical fashion, and yet she’s having fun with it. It’s clear that she loves what she’s doing. As you watch her, you just can’t wait to try it yourself.” Leslie Newumann, Annual Encaustic Conference, Beverly, Mass. USA

“The most organized and giving instructor that I have ever had at the Art School.” Sandra, Southampton Art School

“…very relaxed and fun class, Andrea’s organization was great and very thought out…” Wendy, St. Thomas Artists’ Guild

“Students felt free to ask any questions, Andrea’s style was precise and very comfortable… this was the most interesting workshop I’ve taken in a long time.” Beth, St. Thomas Artists’ Guild

Prices* for Workshops @ ‘the hive’!encaustic-studio


Give it a whirl! The space will be set up and those interested can give it a try – A demonstration will be given and then you’ll have a chance to try it for about 40 minutes. Takes an hour in total. Times listed with dates. Cost is $25 per person.

Open Studio: only for those who have taken an introductory workshop with us. Sign up for 3 – 6 hours of studio time. No teaching/facilitation. Bring your own substrates. The hive will provide everything else. Cost is $18/hr. for minimum of 3 hours. Times: 1 – 4pm unless otherwise arranged.

Full-Day Workshops: these run all day from 10am til 4pm with a lunch break of 45 min. Cost for full day workshop is $200 or $370 for two day workshops.

Half-Day Introduction: Now available for those who would like to try it out, but cannot make it to a full day workshop… 1pm – 4:30pm. Cost:$130 each.

Connect + Create: An intentional open studio for advanced students that are interested in delving into the creative process on a monthly basis – with each month exploring a new theme. 2017 is full, call to be added to the wait list.  10am – 4pm. Cost:$330 for one season (3 open studios, either the first Saturday or third Sunday of every month).  Call or email Andrea for availability.

Encaustic Class Schedule:


2 – Technique Toolbox: DAY 1 (10am – 4pm)*

NEW! 15 – Half Day Intro (1pm – 4:30pm)

22 – Give it a Whirl! (1-2 OR 3-4pm)

29 – Full Day Intro (10am – 4pm)

30 – Technique Toolbox: DAY 2 (10am – 4pm)*

8, 23– Open Studio (1 – 4pm)*



6 – Give it a Whirl! (1-2 OR 3-4pm)

11/12 – Dive Deep (into the creative process)*, 2 day intensive for advanced students with Andrea (10am – 4pm)

13 – Extended Open Studio (11am – 4pm)*

19 – Let’s Face It: Portrait Photo Encaustic Workshop (working the surface) with Tania Willems – (10am – 4pm)*

26 – Half Day Intro (1pm – 4:30pm)

5, 27 – Open Studio (1 – 4pm)*



2 – Give it a Whirl! (1-2 OR 3-4pm)

10 – Full Day Intro (10am – 4pm)

16, 24 – Give it a Whirl! (1-2 OR 3-4pm)

23 – Technique Toolbox: DAY 1 (1pm – 4:30pm)*

3, 30 – Open Studio (1 – 4pm)*


To Register: Call Andrea or Dan at 519-323-3437 or email: waxworksencaustics@bell.net or go to the Waxworks website and now register on line!
To hold your spot you need to pay the workshop fee in full. Other options can be offered, depending on circumstances.
Visa/MC/Amex available, or mail a cheque payable to: Waxworks Encaustics, 8818 C11, RR1, Moorefield ON NOG 2KO
All prices include supplies, please add HST.

Cancellation Policy:
If you cancel 7 days or more before the workshop, you will be refunded (minus $25 admin. fee) – 6 days or less there is no refund. Rainchecks are sometimes offered depending on the circumstances.

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