Bees Wax Tools & Tips
Bees Wax is a medium I really enjoy creating with and if you are thinking about giving it a try I thought I would share some tips. First, if you are new to this medium there really is no need to go out and purchase expensive encaustic supplies right off, if you find out you love working with wax then you can begin adding high end encaustic wax and tools. But for what I do the tools I’m going to tell you about work perfectly. Insert here… husband clapping hands and doing a little happy dance.
The heat tools I use are a Non-Stick Craft Sheet (always work on a Non-Stick Craft Sheet), Heat It Craft Tool, Melting Pot, Clover Quilting Iron and a Walnut Hallow Wood Burning Set. As far as wax, I use Natural and/or White Bees Wax Pellets by Ranger and Faber-Castell Bees Wax Crayons for my colored wax. If I don’t have the color I really want I dig through a massive box of crayons I’ve collected over the years from Terri and Ansley’s grade school days, peel off the wrapper and start melting. Through trial and error I have discovered Crayola is the best non-bees wax brand crayon to use.
When adding wax polka dots to my projects I use the Walnut Hallow Wood Burning tool and the rounded tip shown in the top photo. You do not need to turn the heat all the way up on this tool. Bees Wax melts pretty quickly so I keep mine dialed low and just hot enough so when I touch the side of the Bees Wax crayon it slowly melts. In the photo above you can see how the crayons look once cooled. Experiment with your tools heat setting but if the wax smokes or smells like it is burning consider the setting far too high and turn it down. Just start low as you can always increase the heat.
To apply wax to the edge of a canvas or scallop I use the Walnut Hallow Wood Burning tool with the small triangle shaped tip that is included with the wood burning set. I place the tip of the Wood Burning Tool onto the end of the Bees Wax Crayon then swipe the edges of the canvas with the tip. When applying two colors as below, I applied the white first then carefully making sure not to burn myself, I wiped the white bees wax off the tip with a paper towel and applied the tan.
When covering the top of a mini canvas (like the photo below) with Bees Wax I place several Bees Wax Pellets on top, then using the Clover Quilting Iron set on low I melt the Bees Wax Pellets by place the iron on top of the pellet(s) and move the iron gently on top of the mini canvas. I repeat this step until the entire mini canvas top and sides are covered. Once the mini canvas is covered, using my Heat It Craft Tool I reheat the wax to help smooth out the surface.
If you are going to cover a large canvas area I suggest you melt the Bees Wax Pellets in a Melting Pot. Then using a natural bristle brush apply the wax to the canvas. Then use the Heat It Craft Tool to smooth the wax.
I hope this has created some interest into the world of Bees Wax for you. It’s really fun oh and it smells great too. No go experiment and let me know what you think. Just remember, the tools are hot so be ever so careful and use them according to the manufacturers instructions.