The Roland HOTbox™ – Getting Started & Basic Tips

Paula Roland Encaustic Monotypes


The Gen 3 Roland HOTbox™ is possibly the most versatile encaustic equipment available. The possibilities are limitless!

  • Designed for creating professional encaustic monotypes, Hotboxes are great for encaustic collage and other encaustic work on paper or fabric.
  • By using two or more boxes, and using larger plates to span them, one can create works of nearly any size! The incandescent bulbs (its heat source) heat evenly and the wax will NOT overheat which could create toxic fumes. No additional fusing is needed when using the HOTbox for printing! 
  • Saturate paper and cloth in plain or colored wax, creating translucency.
  • Keep small paint pans warm and to mix colors directly on the anodized palette plate. (Anodizing prevents colors from reacting and oxidizing which turns them greyish, and the anodized plate cleans easily).
  • Join paper with wax in collage.
  • Place paper, encaustic prints, smooth card, or other surface on the plate, face-up, and heat from the rear. Then paint or draw on the surface with encaustic,  mixed media, and drawing media such as graphite, charcoal, oil pastels, or oil bar.
  • Warm your wood panels prior to encaustic painting, so paint does not “freeze up” and paint application is smoother.
  • Heat painting panels from the rear so encaustic brush does not freeze up.
  • Painting on panels, to liquify paint or paint wet into wet.


Working on the Roland HOTbox™ is freeing, even mesmerizing. Begin with a sense of play to get the feel, paying close attention to what happens, what you like,  and why. Your variables are Heat- More heat = more saturation of surface, less control and detail; Paper- varies by absorbency, thickness, surface, sizing, etc.; and Pigment load / ratio to wax. These are the main variables but there are many others. 

It is easy to create a print, but not so easy to get a work that satisfies or goes beyond. Many have commented that “This is the most difficult ‘easy’ thing I have ever done!”. Paula’s 2 1/2 hour Instructional DVD is a great way to start, and will save you time, money, and energy!

Order Instructional DVD or Take as an Online Course


Or call Jay Tolbert toll free (877) 876-8368 or email


When printing with encaustic on the HOTbox™, varying the plate surface temperature and the type of paper will create vastly different effects.

Take encaustic in cold form (a block, chunk, crayon-size stick, etc) and draw/apply the colored wax to the plate, or paint it on when hot or cold. The drawn image may then be printed directly.

One may also manipulate the molten paint with various tools and materials such as a pencil eraser or Colour Shaper tools, plastic card, brush, squeegee or other marking and texturing tools.

When the image satisfies, lay an absorbent paper on top of it and lightly press the back with a baren (used in block printing) or a rag.The image absorbs into the paper and becomes one with it. Purchase a pad of calligraphy/Sumei paper to get started. Then try other papers, varying the weight and absorbency, finding which ones you like. (The  Resources PDF on dvd order page gives suggestions)

On the HOTbox, the wax absorbs into the the paper or cloth, becoming one with it. These monotypes and other wax saturated paper or cloth are easy to handle, transport and store! Concerns about shipping encaustic during cold or hot months are greatly diminished if not eliminated. Monotypes may be flexed and even rolled without cracking!

Paula has developed many presentation options for paper—including free-hanging paper, installation work, back-lit translucent prints, as well as prints framed conventionally under glass. There are several ways to permanently mount prints to panels. Paula details the many possibilities in her workshops, based on 20 years experience with her own work with encaustic printing and painting.

ORDER THE Roland HOTbox ™ FROM VENT-A-FUME Or call/email Jay Tolbert toll free (877) 876-8368;

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