OXFORD — While learning about ancient civilizations, Boxberry students recently had the opportunity to learn the ancient art of encaustics, which is like painting with molten pigmented wax.

When ancient Greeks and Romans settled in Egypt after Alexander the Great’s conquest, people adopted the practice of mummifying their deceased. Using their sense of artistic and cultural values, they painted an encaustic portrait of the deceased and then placed it over the face of the mummified body. The paintings have been well-preserved for thousands of years.

Local artist Heather Westleigh came to Boxberry to share her knowledge of encaustics. She taught the students how to apply the liquid wax and how to use a heat gun to fuse each layer to a canvas board or the layer before. She also showed the students how they could use scraping tools to carve out designs in the wax.

She then encouraged them to use oil pastels to draw on their final image. Boxberry students created many different kinds of images from abstract to somewhat more realistic. They enjoyed manipulating molten wax and relating this process to their learning expedition of ancient civilizations.

For more information about the Boxberry School, interested families should call 743-9700 or visit www.boxberryschool.org.

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