Beeswax has a beautiful color and making candles with the original color make them unique. To learn how to clean the beeswax click here.
But sometimes, you will need to use “bleached” beeswax, this means that the original color will be removed and the beeswax will turn white.
In our case, we use bleached beeswax for example for making encaustic paintings.
Once the original color is gone and the beeswax is white, a different pigment color can be added to the beeswax and in this way a whole palette of colors can be used in the encaustic painting.
There are several ways to bleach beeswax.
One way is using the power of the sun. This is the method we choose and is explained below in this same page. The process is simple and the final result should not take too long, between 4 to 7 days, depending on the season you are bleaching the beeswax and how many hours of sunlight you have in your area.
Also you can bleach the beeswax using chemical products, but these processes involve using some acids and some poisonous gases, so we avoid these methods.
The pictures below show the way we bleach our own beeswax.
1- We choose the cleaner honeycombs we find in our hives and put them in a box under the sun for several days, until the wax change the color and turn white, as is showed in the picture below.
2- Once the wax is white, we melted it in a can that we put in a pot with hot water. Once the wax is totally liquid, we put it in molds and let them cool very well before we un-mold the bricks.
Now the bricks are ready to start making the encaustic medium.
3- To make the Encaustic medium, we mix 1 part of dammar resin with 8 parts of bleached beeswax.
The damar resin raises the melting temperature so the wax is less susceptible to heat damage, allows it to cure and harden over time making it more durable.. Resin also allows the encaustic to be polished to a high gloss, giving it more depth and intensity.
When the Encaustic medium is done, we fill the molds to get “ready to use” Encaustic medium” bricks.
In this way the Encaustic medium is ready to be mixed with pigments.
4 – To make the colored bricks, we put the Encaustic medium bricks in different cans, which are on top of the iron where the bricks start melting. Once everything is melted, we add a different pigment to each can and this is how we obtain the product. Once we get the desired color, just put the melted wax in the molds to make bricks or in tin cans and wait until is cool.
5- Now, the product is finished and ready to use!!!! Have fun!!!