Enkaustikos Wax and Mediums
In 2010, Enkaustikos introduced a new line of artist sundries. While the company had always sold sundries before, the new line featured these products in beautiful, resealable bags rather than paper craft bags. The bag's had attractive and informative labels as well as convenient, zipper seals to keep the product safe during storage.
USP Refined Beeswax
This beeswax is 100% natural. This wax is United States Pharmaceutical (USP) grade so it has been filtered and purified without the use of harsh chemicals or bleaching agents. It comes in little tiny granules (called prills), just like you see in the photo.
You can easily use a tiny bit or a bulk amount. It has the same natural scent that you find with all pure beeswax.
It is often used in cosmetics, medicinal ointments, and pill coatings as it is a high quality, translucent beeswax. This is the same wax used for Hot Cakes wax paints and mediums.
A note of caution, please do not exceed 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Luster Wax has terrific characteristics and is a good alternative to Carnauba wax because it is whiter and clearer. This is a high quality, synthetic, non-petroleum wax derived from coal. It can be added to your wax paint to raise the melting point, increase hardness, and increase shine.
Luster Wax requires higher temperatures to melt and blend with your paints as its melting point is actually 205°F. Due to this higher melting point, only a small amount should be added to your paint and care exercised, in order to make sure that you do not burn your paint in your attempt to melt this wax.
Once again, it is not a petroleum oil based wax paraffin or microcrystalline. It comes in small easy to melt flakes or granules (or prills). Enkaustikos recommends starting with 5% addition of Luster Wax to your formula, and increasing as need be for your unique purposes.
Bleached Beeswax is purified beeswax that achieves its bright white color through a chemical bleaching process. It is typically used for candle making and by oil painters in their painting mediums to matte colors or varnishes.
It comes in small easy to melt pastilles (or thin pellets). For encaustic use, Enkaustikos recommends the use of United States Pharmaceutical (USP) grade Beeswax because it is bleach and chemical free.
Bleached Beeswax is purified beeswax that achieves its bright white color through a XD Wax Medium is a 50-50 blend of damar gum and USP Beeswax. XD Wax Medium gets its name from the eXtra Damar that we add to make it. Our original wax medium is a blend of 1 part damar to 6 parts USP beeswax, so it is no surprise that it behaves differently.
Damar gum in its raw form is a hardened tree sap that is transparent, hard, shiny and has a higher melting point that beeswax. Adding damar gum to beeswax imparts all of these qualities to the beeswax making it the excellent choice for making a wax medium. The higher the ratio of damar to beeswax, the more these attributes will be seen.
XD wax medium has a thicker consistency when liquefied, is more flexible, shinier, harder and more translucent than regular wax medium. Why do we call it damar gum? Damar is harvested from trees and is actually a gum, or the sap that has begun to harden, it has been misnamed a resin for years. That is why the addition of more damar increases flexibility.
What are some uses for XD wax medium? We recommend using XD wax medium as a paint extender, especially if you want to extend heavily for glossy, transparent glazes. Used as a top coat on smooth surfaces, it yeilds a hard, glossy finish with incredible transparency when applied thinly. XD is also a suitable medium to use as a protective coat over watercolor or gouache, thus eliminating the need for the art work to be put behind glass.
Probably the most exciting way of using XD is as a boullion for making your own wax blend in a simple and easy way. Follow the guidelines below to make wax medium in the proportions you enjoy working with the most. No filtering needed.
- Damar Gum to USP Beeswax Ratio
- 1:2 - melt together 1 ounce cake of XD to 1/2 ounce beeswax
- 1:3 - melt together 1 ounce cake of XD to 1 ounce beeswax
- 1:4 - melt together 1 ounce cake of XD to 1 1/2 ounce beeswax
- 1:5 - melt together 1 ounce cake of XD to 2 ounce beeswax
- 1:6 - melt together 1 ounce cake of XD to 2 1/2 ounce beeswax (but why bother, since this is our ratio)
- 1:7 - melt together 1 ounce cake of XD to 3 ounce beeswax
Melt these two ingredients together at proper working temperatures below 200F. After the XD and beeswax are completely melted, blend well and your wax medium is ready to use. Follow the ratio proportions to make larger quantities as needed. You will save a lot of time making your medium this way.
Wax Medium is truly a versatile product and is essential in every encaustic studio. Our standard wax medium has a 6 to 1 ratio of U.S. Pharmaceutical Grade Refined Beeswax to Damar Gum. All Enkaustikos paints begin with our standard wax medium as the binder to which we add the highest load of artist quality pigments.
In order to work with our paints successfully, you will want to extend with additional wax medium. By adding wax medium to our paints, you will enhance the flow and workability of the paint, plus you will find your paints will last much longer. You determine how much wax medium to add to our paints.
Wax medium is used to increase the transparency of paints, especially the modern colors like Naphthol, Quinacridones, and Phthalos. Wax medium is also used as a base coat on raw wood surfaces. It can be used for collage, in printmaking, image transfer, or applied as a topcoat to add depth to finished encaustic paintings.
Soy Wax is an eco-friendly wax for cleaning brushes. Soy Wax is a natural by-product of soy beans used in the food, cosmetic, candle-making industry and art supply industry. Soy wax melts around 120°F making it a suitable choice for cleaning brushes and tools used in the encaustic process. Soy wax is sold in an easy to melt flake form and has an off-white opaque appearance. Do not overheat, heat below smoking temperatures. Soy Wax is not intended to be mixed with encaustic paints.
This unique synthetic wax was formulated for cleaning your brushes, tools, and even palette between encaustic color changes. Slick wax eliminates the need for any type of solvent in your studio. Simply have a tin of melted slick wax available on your hot palette and you will be able to avoid color contamination. When you want to move from one color to another, rinse your brush in the Slick Wax and wipe off any excess wax with a paper towel.
The Slick Wax will have removed the color and you can get right back to painting. For those who like to color mix on their palette, you can even use the Slick Wax directly on the palette and with a wipe of a paper towel, you will have a nice clean surface to work on. Enkaustikos Slick Wax comes in a re-sealable silver bag but is also available in a 6 fl oz metal Hot Cakes tin.
Rabbit Skin Glue
US Rabbit Skin Glue is made from rabbit skin, bone, and tissue. A variety of artists have found