Andrea Bird - Encaustic mixed-media collage

» view Calendar  of classes, workshops, shows and openings

PLEASE SEE FULL SCHEDULE AND PRICES AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE!  I have been teaching encaustic since 2002, and leading creative workshops for over 20 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 two new teachers: Tania Wycherley ( and Daniel Beirne (!  Both are enthusiastic, experienced and talented encaustic artists - having gone through a teacher training program with me. We offer on-going, 1 to 5 day workshops, and recently added a half-day introduction.  No previous artistic experience is needed for any of my Encaustic 1 or Half-day Workshops.  Experience is needed for my Encaustic 2, 3, 4 workshops, the Sinking In Workshops and for Open Studios.  Most of my teaching takes place at our encaustic school: 'the hive' in the Alton Mill, near Orangeville, ON,.



Dates listed may change, so please check first, via email or phone.

The Alton Mill Creative 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.

Encaustic 1:  Introduction to the medium, 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, gouging and filling gouges with medium and oil paint.

Encaustic 2:  working with glazes of colour to increase transparencies, ironing techniques explored, working on boards covered with encaustic gesso, transfer papers (carbon, graphite, etc), masking off areas, gold/silver/copper leaf, stencils, water on wax, and making your own medium.

Encaustic 3: intense vs. subtle colour layering, india ink on transparent papers, tips for difficult collage items, transferring colour photocopies, scraping at layers, metallic powders, ironing things in/out of wax, iron as a gouging tool, and pastel usage.

Encaustic 4:  exploring various surfaces: drywall compound on wood, plexi-glass, rusted metal, colour theory, advanced glazing methods, metallic transfer papers, using oil sticks, water-soluble wax crayons and carving out straight lines. 

Sinking In: this three or four day intensive focuses more on the creative process, with time for group discussions, written exercises, brainstorming, trying out new techniques (the encaustic stylus using various heads, pan pastels, using duochrome colours and more), and lots of time to 'sink in' to your practice!  Note: only for students that have taken at least Encaustic 1 and 2 (or equivalent). Students bring their own substrates.

Sinking In Even Further: this three or four day intensive focuses entirely on the creative process, with  small group and 1:1 discussions, written exercises, brainstorming, and using the techniques that you already have... with discretion. Note: only for students that have taken at least Encaustic 1 and 2 or equivalent.  Students bring their own substrates.

Encaustic 2, 3. 4 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 blow torch.  The focus of each builds on the one before, with new techniques being added, increasing in complexity. It is fine to take Encaustic 2,3 and 4 out of sequence!

Half-day Introduction to Encaustic Workshops give students a chance to try it out over a three and a half hour period.  Basic layering, introduction to the fusing tools (iron, heat gun and blow torch) as well as photo transfer and basic collage will be demonstrated. Can be morning or afternoon.

Adult & Child Workshops provide an opportunity for a parent to attend and take part in the class with their child... overseeing their progress in the workshop.  Tools provided are heat gun and iron only.  We will be working on matt board, by the end of the workshop creating several beautiful greeting cards +/or small paintings to take home.   Minimum age for child: 7 years.

My workshops are self-directed, which means that I 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, Andrea brings the supplies needed - exception: Open Studio and Sinking In (bring your own boards to work on) 

Optional supplies to bring to workshops: collage items (paper/fabric/high contrast photocopies made with toner, etc.)




Andrea at the hive!

Drop by 'the hive' in Alton, our wonderful Encaustic School!

On-going workshops, open studio times, chances to 'give it a whirl' and more...

See schedule below.  *NOTE: we are usually at the hive on weekends (noon til 5pm), and often by chance through the week.   Please call to arrange an appointment or to find out if we will be there ... 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, 2014

"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, 2014

"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' February 2012

"...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 June 2011

"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 June 2010

"The most organized and giving instructor that I have ever had at the Art School."  Sandra, Southampton Art School, Sept. 09

"...very relaxed and fun class, Andrea's organization was great and very thought out..."   Wendy, St. Thomas Artists' Guild, April 08

"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, April 08

Prices* for Workshops @ 'the hive'! 


Give it a whirl! The space will be set up and those interested can give it a try -  Andrea will be giving demonstrations and then you'll have a chance to try it for about 30 minutes.   Times listed with dates. Cost is $15 per person.

Open Studio: only for those who have taken an Encaustic 1 or Half-day Introduction 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 $45 for 3 hours. Times: 1 - 4pm unless otherwise noted.  Call if you`d like to come for 4 hrs. ($55), 5 hrs. ($62.50) or 6hrs. ($70) open studio, and if we can, we`ll make it happen!

Workshops: these run all day from 10am til 4pm with a lunch break of 45 min.  Cost for one day workshop is $200 (+ hst) or $370 for two workshops/people. 

Half-Day Introduction to Encaustic: 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 or two for $240 ($120 each).

NEW! Sticky Bits! Encaustic/photo Workshop: with Tania Wycherley...your original photo images will be printed and adhered to a panel surface creating an instant canvas for encaustic paint and luscious layers.  Going back and forth between the two panels, you will explore surface techniques such as ironing, using a heated stylus, drawing tools, gouging and collage!  If you love photography and encaustic (without all the burnishing involved in transfers!) then this is for you!

NEW! Adult - Child extended Give it a Whirl!  Cost:$40 per person (2 hours)





Note: all workshops take place at the hive in the Alton Mill, near Orangeville,  unless otherwise

To register: call Andrea at 519-323-3437 or email her at   


Sat., Feb. 7 - Encaustic 3 Workshop (10am - 4pm)

Sat., Feb. 14 - Half-day Introduction (1pm - 4:30pm)

Sun., Feb. 15 - Connect + Create: advanced open studio (10am - 4pm)

Sun., Feb. 22 - Encaustic 4 Workshop (10am - 4pm)

Feb. 1/6/8/20/21/28 - Open Studio (noon - 4pm)

 MARCH 2015

Sun., Mar. 1 &15 - Connect + Create: invitational open studio

(10am - 4pm)

Fri/Sat./Sun. March 6/7/8 - Sinking In: 3 Day Intensive: $470

Pre-requisite: Encaustic 1 & 2 or equivalent.

Sat., Mar. 14 - Encaustic 1 Workshop (10am - 4pm)

Thurs., Mar. 19 - March Break mini-workshop for ages 10+ (noon - 2pm) & March Break Adult/Child extended Give it a Whirl! (3 - 5pm)

Sat., Mar. 21 - Encaustic 2 Workshop (10am - 4pm)

March 20/22/28/29 - Open Studio (1 - 4pm)

APRIL 2015

Sun., Apr. 5 &19 - Connect + Create: invitational open studio

(10am - 4pm)

Sat., April 11 - Half-day Intro. to Encaustic (1 - 4:30pm)

Sat., Apr. 18 - Adult/Child Extended Give it a Whirl! (1 - 3pm)

Sat., Apr. 25 - Encaustic 3 Workshop (10am - 4pm)

 April 4/10/12/24/26 - Open Studio (1 - 4pm)

MAY 2015

Sat., May 2/30 &  Sun., May 17 - Connect + Create: invitational open studio

Sat., May 9 - Encaustic 1 Workshop (10am - 4pm)

Sun, May 10 (Mother's Day) - Give it a Whirl with Mom! (1 - 2 & 3 - 4pm)

Sat., May 23 - Sticky Bits - Photography/encaustic workshop with

Tania Wycherley!(10am - 4pm)

Sun., May 31 - Half-day Intro. (1pm - 4:30pm)

 May 3/8/16/22/24 - Open Studio (1 - 4pm)

JUNE 2015

Sun., June14 - Connect + Create: invitational open studio

Sat./Sun., June 20/21 - Give it a whirl! during Cuisine Art (1 - 2 & 3 - 4pm)

Sat./Sun., June 27/28 - Transfer Sandwich: Photography/encaustic workshop with Tania Wycherley! (10am - 4pm)

 June 12/13/26 - Open Studio (1 - 4pm)

JULY 2015

Sun., July 19 - Connect + Create: invitational open studio

Sat., July 4 - Encaustic 1 Workshop (10am - 4pm)

Sun., July 5 - Encaustic 2 Workshop (10am - 4pm)

NEW! Thur., July 9 - Sun., July 12 - Foundation + Finish: 4 day intensive

with Christina Lovisa + Andrea Bird - $590

Enc. 1 or equivalent is pre-requisite (10am - 4pm all four days)
Sat., July 18 - Give it a Whirl! (1 - 2 & 3 - 4pm)

Sat., July 25 - Half-day Intro to Encaustic (1pm - 4:30)

July 17/26/31 - Open Studio (1 - 4pm)


Sun., Aug. 2 - Give it a Whirl! (1 - 2 & 3 - 4pm)

Friday, Aug. 7 - Sun. Aug. 9 - Sinking in even further: 3 day intensive

with Andrea Bird - $470 Enc. 1 & 2 or equivalent pre-requisite

(10am - 4pm Fri. and Sun, 11am - 8:30pm Sat.)

 Sun., Aug.16 - Connect + Create: invitational open studio

Sat., August 22 - Encaustic 1 Workshop (10am - 4pm)

August 1/5/23/29 - Open Studio (1 - 4pm)

TO REGISTER: Call Andrea or Dan at 519-323-3437 or email: 

To hold your spot you need to pay a deposit for half of the workshop fee.

Visa/MC available, or mail a cheque payable to: Andrea Bird, RR#1, 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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