2016 Topic 3: Wax
Hi Darcy here with a little play with all things waxy. I wanted to use my new poppy stamp, and felt inspired by the impressionistic paintings of the past. I am always amazed as how blobs and swirls of paint can transform into identifiable images even without much detail. I wondered if I could recreate that style of painting with just some wax.
The problem with wax is that it remelts everytime you heat it, so each successive layer will move along with the one below. But nothing ventured, nothing gained, so I set off to see what could be done.
It is definitely no Monet, but turned out to be an enormous amount of experimental fun....maybe thats just me though, I do like melting things.
I began by gathering my waxy supplies, Beeswax in pellets and a block, Portfolio pastels, Neocolor II crayons, regular kids wax crayons, a candle, sealing waxes and cheese! yes cheese.. well ok not the actual cheese, just the waxy shell. I may end up having nightmares given how many mini cheeses I had to eat to get the wax!
I started with an 8x8 white/greyboard. I prepped this by adding a layer of melted beeswax. Wax will stick to most surfaces that are porous, but it does help to prep them first. I found that beeswax worked fine, but you can buy encaustic medium. Onto my first layer of wax I added some stamped tissue paper. I knew not a lot would show by the end, but I do like to start with something in the background, you never know what little areas will show through. I used a mix of Sara Naumann stamps on regular white tissue paper.
The next layer was Neocolor II crayons, they are a waxy crayon but water soluble. Generally I would say these have a lot of pigment and turn out quite bright. Even though I chose very bright shades they became very muted under the next later of wax.
I also shaved off some little bits of the crayons and melted those in place. This needed to be done by heating from underneath, otherwise they would have blown away.
Now onto the kids wax crayons. I held blue and purple ones at the top of the board and heated them allowing them to dribble down. I then cut up some crayon and popped the bits into a dish and melted them , once fluid I dripped various shades in pools along the bottom, once reheated I was able to angle the board so that they merged and blended.
To add a little interest and shimmer I added some pearlex powders to the bottom, once heated the crayon beneath grabbed the powders and held them in place.
Now to try the Portfolio crayons. I rubbed them with a finger onto the edges and in the middle sections, then heated them lightly. These stayed much brighter than the Neocolors.
I added more portfolio crayons, in red and orange to card. This card has a hammered texture, so the crayons skim the surface and leave gaps. I like the mottled effect but know that this would disappear with the next step. I heat fixed the crayons then stamped my poppy stamp using black Stazon.
I cut out each poppy and added them to the board. I also stamped the leafy stems, but later on changed my mind about those.
Cheese time. I melted the wax shells in a small dish. Once fully liquid I poured the cheesy wax onto each of the poppies, filling them like little bowls.
Each poppy was then heated again and the red wax allowed to run all across the centre section. The idea was to make it look like there was a host of poppies behind the focal ones. Not at all sure this worked, but it was fun to play with.
I also flicked on some melted white crayon, and then added some gold in the same way. This gold stick is sealing wax.
I wasn't keen on the leafy stems in this case as they seemed too stuctured, so I rubbed at them lightly with a cloth and they came right off. I replaced them with lines of Little Black Dress, applied with a credit card. I like these more abstract lines.
I think this bottom section is my favourite part, as the many layers are more visible here. This was a tricky project to do, it certainly seemed impossible to do neatly as each time I used heat too much wax melted and moved.
However, as an experimental piece it was fun and I learned that pearl ex powders look lovely in wax and that cheese wax works great too.. I also found that the whole thing could be buffed to a nice sheen with an old(clean) sock.. who knew!
Wax play doesn't need to be expensive at all, a lot can be achieved with just cheap wax crayons, so have a go.
We would love to see how you interpret this Wax topic by linking what you make to our 2016 Challenge #3: Wax, on this page HERE.
All of our bloggers love to see your twist on their ideas, particularly if you were inspired directly by their post.
All links go in the draw to win a £50 voucher to spend on products of your choice from the PaperArtsy online store. The 'Wax' link will close 17:00 (London Time) Sunday, February 21st. The winner will be announced 2 hours later at 19:00.