We are currently living in an apartment, which I actually love because none of our STUFF is here and it’s much easier to clean a smaller space with less stuff. But I miss having a studio to escape to and be messy in and not have to clean up on a schedule, and mostly I miss the smell of melty beeswax, gah, definitely miss it! But having drippy wax stuck all over wall to wall carpet would just be impossible to clean and we are only here a few months, so well I will live without the gorgeousness of hot beeswax for now.
So I was thinking about medium options and have begun to experiment with cold wax. Since it can be used right out of the jar and doesn’t need the extra equipment that hot encaustics uses, it seemed like a possible option. I will say up front as someone who is super smell sensitive it does not smell great, well, at least compared to the regular encaustic medium (which I find to be one of my top ten favorite smells!) Cold wax smells a bit petroleumy, like mineral spirits, and while it does contain beeswax and Damar, I couldn’t smell them.
It is super easy to work with, I just used a palette knife to apply the 1st layer. I did like the clarity of it, which is sometimes hard to control in regular encaustics. I’m just at the first layer so far because I have no idea how long it takes each layer to dry (will update that later.) Definitely worked outside to avoid stinking up the inside, and I’m working small because well, I’m liking working small right now.
Things about the medium that I’m wondering and planning on experimenting on:
How does it layer?
How many layers can I add?
How does it work with imbedding other material? Which is a big plus for hot encaustics.
How hard does it dry?
How easy is it to rework a layer?
Wondering if there is a way to make a better smelling version from scratch?
Lots to experiment with…