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Old 02-03-08, 10:13 AM
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jpohl jpohl is offline
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Post beeswax formula

I came across a post about a beeswax formula used by a museum on ET, but couldn't find it again when I did a search. Does anyone know where I can find it?

I'm thinking ahead a little, and wondering if the beeswax will give a nicer finish than buffed ET, or ET sealed with egg yolk/water? Also wondering if it will help to protect the work once it reaches the gallery and during shipping.... I'm not sure I can afford to hold paintings back the full year it may take for things to cure well, and would like to avoid glass over the painting if possible.

If nothing else maybe beeswax will give the work a lovely smell. better than damar anyway....

How is beeswax best applied?
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Old 02-03-08, 02:58 PM
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Jennifer,
It may have been one of my posts although I cannot find it.
I now use Renaissance Bees Wax manufactured and supplied by Picreator.
Available directly from but only large orders for export.
http://www.picreator.co.uk/articles/...ssance_wax.htm
I got mine from Cornelissen although I don't see it in their price list.
http://www.cornelissen.com/index.asp
It does give a good finish and saturates the colours. I apply 3 or 4 coats of well diluted egg yolk allowing about 24 hours between each coat to dry. I apply the wax with a silk cloth then buff gently.
The first time I used it I had not put enough egg yolk isolating layer and there was a little bit of pigment pick up. Also, I didn't dust the painting and found loads of bits of dust in the lighter areas of the painting. I now lightly brush the painting with a soft brush before application.
As for smell.......pleasant, but it disappears after a week or so.
I had no idea of how far it would go and bought 2 200ml tins........me thinks it is going to last me for years and years.........
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Old 04-03-08, 09:05 AM
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Thank you so very, very much for this, and for being so generous in sharing your experience and saving me heartache. I've taken notes. Was also surprised to find out my husband already knew about this product from his latest hobby (fountain pen restoration) so maybe we can go in on an order together. It would be funny if he was the only person in the town who knew about this product, but perhaps it is well known.

And thank you for the link to such a good supplier... I've been meaning to check them out for a while. I don't get much chance visit really good art stores in person, and am happy to see they ship world wide... a must on my trip to London hopefully in the not too distant, distant future. (The only dedicated art store in my former town mainly carried student grade. I even remember hearing how one of the cashiers said to the province's most respected senior painter and recipient of the Order of Canada "I don't know why any one would buy art. It's only expensive wall paper!" They weren't joking. It is lovely to see there are such traditional art supply stores.. sorry shops.. out there in the world.

Thanks for the warnings. All the more reason to invest an another air cleaner I'm thinking... to keep dust at bay.

(I thought I had already posted to say thank you... but perhaps my connection went down... but if two posts show... excuse my redundancy...)
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Old 04-03-08, 10:35 AM
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Forgot to mention about Gamblin cold wax medium.
http://www.gamblincolors.com/purchase/retail.html
Michael Bergt wrote an article in the newsletter last year......here is an extract........

First, one sprays a diluted solution of egg yolk through an airbrush; this layer is left to dry for several days, acting as a unifying and isolating layer for the painting. Next, a thin layer of Gamblin Cold Wax Medium is applied with a lint-free cloth and left to dry. Walt suggested three light coats, but I found one even layer seemed to work best for me, as successive layers tended to “melt” preceding layers and cause uneven buildup. Left overnight, the surface will become more transparent and even, leaving a coat of wax that enriches the surface and provides a layer of protection. This surface can
be left as it is, or buffed lightly to create more sheen. Granted, this isn’t as hard as damar or mastic, but it is reversible. I took some odorless mineral spirits and was able to remove several layers of wax, leaving the sprayed egg yolk layer as my base coat. This means one can return to the original painting to make corrections and revarnish without modifying the paint.
Time will tell just how hard and protective this coat of wax varnish will be. As for now, I’m happy with the surface quality, which appears to be very “organic” and enhances the traditional egg tempera finish.
Regardless, if you don’t like the varnish, remove it and return to the original paint.

I found it OK to brush on the isolating layer instead of using an airbrush.
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Old 25-03-08, 08:36 PM
Alexandra van Cruyningen Alexandra van Cruyningen is offline
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Default beeswax

Hi Rob<
I thought reading somewhere you did not varnish your paintings? I have a question about the beeswax is there a bit of dammar in it or not? should it be just pure beeswax and where do you get this? No need for 25 cans...although it might last a lifetime.
Greetings,
Alex.
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Old 26-03-08, 07:24 AM
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Alex,
That's right, I don't varnish my paintings but I started using the beeswax towards the end of last year and am pleased with the results.
You can get the small single tins from Cornelissen's in London, they do mail order. There is a link in one of my posts above. I don't see the product in their catalogue so perhaps you should e-mail them to find out the availability and price.
R
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Old 26-03-08, 11:39 AM
dbclemons dbclemons is offline
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Rob, are you certain the Renaisance brand you're using is beeswax? All of their product I've seen are labeled as microcrystalline wax.

Gamblin's cold wax is a beeswax that includes alkyd resin, which I'm not complaining about, but thought I'd mention it. Many wax recipes include a resin of some sort, typically dammar, but a simple cold wax paste can be made with just beeswax and turpentine, and is is less shiny.

Most fine furniture or wood-working shops carry raw beeswax pellets, as do some of the larger art stores that cater to encaustics. There's a pharmaceutical grade of beeswax that is made clear by heat filtering rather than bleaching which is more common, but leaves behind more impurities and is more acidic. Fineartstore carries it.

I've been curious to try an egg wash on my casein paintings as an isolation coat. The only thing that's prevented me from getting around to it is having to spray it on in that case, as brushing a wet layer would risk lifting the casein paint.

Last edited by dbclemons; 26-03-08 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 26-03-08, 06:30 PM
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I posted something about Renaissance Wax as a protective coating, some years ago. I, for one, was not happy with the results when I tried using the stuff. I think the wax may have been manufactured originally for use at the British Museum (?) for use on all sorts of materials, from leather to metal to paper. Yes, it is a microcrystalline wax and smells strongly of petroleum solvent, although that may not be a component. I had hoped for a low-luster, "waxy" look. I definitely did not want a high gloss. I found that the slightest buffing produced a high sheen. I could not make an even, low-gloss surface. Trying to even out the sheen and remove lap marks only increased the glossiness. I removed it from my painting with mineral spirits because it was not the look I wanted.
If you do like a shiny paint surface, you may be happy with Renaissance Wax. It does produce a thinner film than painting varnish. Beware, though: your painting does need to be fully cured and/or sealed with glair or some other isolating layer. The wax can penetrate transparent or thin layers of paint. As with other "varnishes" it can change the values of painted areas unequally if there is penetration, and thus wreck subtle tonal variations. Also, if that happens, when the varnish is removed it will pull up those passages of paint linked to the varnish/wax.
Probably, it's easier to achieve a lower gloss with beeswax than with Renaissance Wax. I would certainly be interested in finding such a sealer.
Dennis

Last edited by Dennis H; 28-03-08 at 03:41 AM. Reason: Left out the word "been."
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Old 26-03-08, 09:01 PM
Alexandra van Cruyningen Alexandra van Cruyningen is offline
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Dennis,
That sounds rather tricky, up till now I have not varnished an egg tempera painting, but reading about the beeswax sounded interesting enough to give it a try. The beeswax I found here is from Mussini but it has dammar in it, so I don't know whether that will work. How long do you wait before varnishing? a year or less?
greetings.
Alex.
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Old 27-03-08, 01:15 AM
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Salamander Salamander is offline
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Just a note here..... et works very well with dammar and knowing that I don't see that pure beeswax with a bit of dammar would be all that objectionable as a final wax sealer.... I also don't know why simple beeswax thinned with turp would be all that difficult to produce for one's own use.... it's really not much more difficult than preparing et itself.
e-in-o
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