Saturday, January 21, 2012

waxcakes!

YUMMY WAXCAKES!!
it was time to make encaustic medium. my (sweet) husband usually makes this for me.  i had to dig out the formula:  for 5 pounds of beeswax, one pound of damar resin was added.  the tree resin helps to raise the wax's melting temperature and it hardens the surface once a work is cooled. i love how beeswax smells!  


A little about beeswax~
Beeswax is a byproduct of honey production. It makes wonderful lip balms, hand lotions, hand creams, & moisturizers. It’s used in cosmetics, wood finishes, waxes,  leather polishes, waterproofing products and dental molds. Beeswax also makes superior slow-burning candles.  And my favorite - it’s used for encaustic art!!

Beeswax is produced by the (female) worker honeybees. The wax is secreted from wax glands on the underside of the bee’s abdomen and is molded into six-sided cells which are filled with honey, then capped with more wax. When honey is harvested, the top layer of wax that covers the cells, the cappings, must be removed from each hexagon-shaped cell.

Bees use their wax to “glue” together the wooden frames in their hive, and that must be scraped off so the frames can be separated. The beeswax, which contains some honey, bee parts, and other impurities, must be melted and filtered or strained. 

Most beeswax is gold or yellow but can also be in shades of orange, brown, etc. The color of the wax is in most part determined by the type of plants the bees collect nectar from. Beeswax has a delightful, light fragrance of honey, flower nectar and pollen.
untitled encaustic

Too many of today’s artists have persuaded themselves that the grotesque is more expressive than the higher grace.  It is always easier to caricature than to reveal, to shout than to sing, to pretend than to be true.  - Richard Guggenheimer

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