Encaustic is an ancient and beautiful method of creating luminous paintings from layer of pigmented wax. The name encaustic comes from the Greek work “enkaustikos” which means “to burn in,” because the wax layers are fused with heat. Encaustics have been used for painting since before the Coptic period in Egypt, when they were used to create mummy portraits. They are also well suited for mixed media work because of their transparency and adhesive quality. Stephanie Gordon’s enthusiasm for encaustics began when she saw Fayum mummy portraits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She trained in the use of encaustic at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina and has been using the medium ever since.