An Alan Soffer painting from

Ludwig Wittgenstein said “The limits of my language means the limits of my world.” So to ensure that you are living limitless lives, extend your vocabulary with us and learn something new. Our word for the day: encaustic.

“a paint made from pigment mixed with melted beeswax and resin and after application fixed by heat” (

Elle Decoration SA
Kristy Darnell Battani’s encaustic work from


Dating back to 100AD, encaustic originates from the Greek word encaustikos, meaning ‘to burn in’, and was a method used throughout time. It is technically difficult to master but produces a magnificent result and texture.

Traditionally heating beeswax and adding coloured pigment, various other waxes or oils can be used as well. The paste is applied to a surface and manipulated with metal tools and special brushes. Allowing for sculpting and layering, encaustic techniques have appealed to artists around the world. Today we see more of a contemporary and complex result as artists push the boundaries, especially with the availability and invention of electric irons, torches and hot plates.

Elle Decoration SA
A typical Fyum Mummy portrait from the Coptic period. Image from

We are a fan of encaustic art. We are also a fan of learning new words. Tweet us your favourite words, or design terms you would like us to explore @Elle_Deco.

Compiled by Megan Schumann