Category: supplies

Local Wax

I recently decided to start making my own encaustic medium. After almost a year of paying a fortune for the ready-made stuff, I thought I’d save some money and make it myself. It was definitely a good decision but then I started thinking that I could perhaps save even more money if I bought the wax from a local bee keeper. I knew it wouldn’t be the refined white wax but I’d been wanting to try the natural yellow version anyway so I contacted Walt’s Swarmbustin’ Honey to see if I could come over and get about 10 lbs of wax directly from him. The answer was yes and it was going to cost $5/lb versus the $10-15/lb for plain wax that I was currently paying online (not counting the shipping costs). The added bonus was that I could pick it up the next day and not have to wait forever for a shipment to arrive.

It was a lovely drive into the farm country of Chester County. All the trees were in bloom and the hills were a glowing green.

Chester County Scenery

Spotted this magical landscape on the way to the farm.

We turned onto a long driveway/road and knew we were in the right place when we started seeing these colorful beehives along the way.

Walt's Swarmbustin' Hives

Walt’s Swarmbustin’ Hives

I met Walt at his house and got my box of treasures. 10 lbs of wax, raw honey and some bee pollen. The wax smells absolutely divine.

10 lbs. of wax, some honey and bee pollen.

10 lbs. of wax, raw honey and bee pollen.


Walt (on the left)

I began making a new batch of encaustic medium as soon as I got home. It turned out very well and I have been using it for a couple weeks now. My paintings never smelled so delicious.

Finished encaustic medium.

Finished encaustic medium.

Golden by My Morning Jacket on Grooveshark

My Panel Maker

I thought I should share an important piece of my paintings — the beautifully constructed cradled panels.

When I started to learn encaustic I used any old piece of wood that I found in Lowe’s scrap bin. Soon it became obvious that what I painted on really affected the painting itself. The cheap plywood had a deep grain that was hard to overcome and the pieces were heavy. I started to look at the different substrates that were available and found that the cradled artist panels available for purchase were pretty costly and that I would also be limited to the sizes that the manufacturers had available.

Well, lucky me, I happened to be living with a person who was familiar with woodworking and was more than willing to help me out. She did a little research, bought some new gadgets and tools (probably her favorite part), took over the garage and started to crank out some fabulous cradled panels.

Thank you Marcy, without you my paintings wouldn’t be what they are and couldn’t be what they will become.

Life Is Wonderful by Jason Mraz on Grooveshark

March 2019
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