Category Archives: Beeswax

Decorating Beeswax Eggs

Easter Egg Candles 2Last week, Dora and I decided that we would decorate some beeswax eggs that I purchased last year. We used the Stockmar decorating wax, which I have blogged about before. I tried doing more research about this wax since we last used it, to see if there is a better way to work with it and the best that I can tell is that this wax is just too brittle to be modeled and shaped like modeling wax can be. It seems that it just meant to be cut into designs with knives, cookie cutters, toothpicks, etc. and then pressed on to a candle or other smooth object. I haven’t read anywhere that this is the only way the wax should be used and some blogs/vendors imply that the wax can be molded like modeling wax can be. I did, however, find two .pdfs from Stockmar, Experimenting with Decorating Wax 1 and Experimenting with Decorating Wax 2, and and in each of them, they demonstrate various ways of cutting the wax to use it. I believe that the people who make really elaborate candles, with 3-D designs and so forth, must actually be using modeling wax to decorate their candles (the 2nd .pdf from Stockmar even discusses using modeling wax instead of decorating wax). Please, if anyone knows otherwise, feel free to correct me! Since we went into this project thinking we would use the wax like we do modeling wax, Dora found the whole exercise to be very frustrating, so we just decorated two eggs and left two blank. I may try decorating some more candles with modeling wax in the future, so that she can model the designs she wants. If I do, I will post about it to let you all know if it works any better for us. Next time we go to use the decorating wax, I may just cut out geometric shapes ahead of time for her to adhere to her candle in any design she wants to make with shapes.Easter Egg Candles 1I honestly thought the eggs candles were pretty enough just as they were!

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Labels: Arts and Crafts, Beeswax, Easter, Spring
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Making Rolled Beeswax Candles

Making Rolled Beeswax Candles 3

We continued to explore beeswax this week, by making rolled beeswax candles. To do this, simply wrap a sheet of honeycomb beeswax around a piece of wick that is long as the wax candle will be, plus 1/2” – 1”, which will be the beginning wick. As this was Dora’s first time working with this material, we did not try anything to complicated, like trying to make tapered candles. Just rolling the candles challenged her fine-motor skills and I had to reroll them some, as she rolled them so loosely, they would just shoot up in flames when lit. We did a bit of decorating, but it is harder to cut out the honeycomb sheets that the decorating wax. The honeycomb pieces tend to crack very easily and also don’t stick to each other as well as the decorating wax.

Making rolled Beeswax Candles 1

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Maureen

Labels: Arts and Crafts, Beeswax
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Working With Modeling Wax

Beeswax Carrot

Modeling wax is a popular material in Waldorf schools. I have tried several times over the years to work with the material and have never been successful before. I’ve tried following a variety of helps and hints, such as floating the wax in warm water, to soften the wax, all to no avail. So, it was with a slight sense of dread, that I ordered a set of modeling wax for Dora. This time around, however, we actually got the hang of it! What I determined is that I had needed to work with smaller pieces. When I had read that one should work with small pieces of wax, I was still thinking in play dough terms. I have found that when Dora or I work with a piece that is no larger than a pea, we can easily warm up the wax and shape it as we wish. If we want to work with a larger piece of wax, we simply warm up several small pieces and then work them together.

Beeswax Berries 2

Even when properly softened, working with modeling wax requires more manual dexterity than working with clay or play dough does. So, though Dora really enjoys working with the wax, I have not tried introducing her to anything too complicated. What she enjoys making the most, is little pieces of food for her various wooden animals and doll house dolls. She’s made “berries” of every color and even made some “dragon berries’, which it ends up are multi-colored and quite large. She has also made “corn” for her chickens. I have just begun helping her to make some slightly more complicated shapes, such as “bananas” for her fairies and “carrots” for her rabbits.

Beeswax Chicken Feed

What about you? Have you done any work with modeling wax? If so, do you have any posts that you would be willing to share a link to in the comments section? Or if you know of any other good sites or resources for working with  modeling wax, could you please leave a comment about it? Thus far, the Waldorf books about modeling that I have found are a bit too heavy on the esoteric side and a bit too light on the practical-application side for my taste. Modeling wax can be purchased from most Waldorf craft retailers, but in the event that you want to know what set we are using, it is Stockmar Modeling Beeswax. There is at least one other major brand and one Etsy retailer that I know of, who also make colored modeling beeswax. It is expensive, but it never dries out and lasts a very long time. Please note, this is not the same wax that we used to decorate our pillar candles with, which is decorating wax and has a different texture.

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Disclosure: Some item links in this post are affiliate links. I will make a small amount of money if you click on them and make a purchase. All opinions expressed, however, are 100% my own.

Maureen

Labels: Arts and Crafts, Beeswax, Waldorf
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Decorating Pillar Candles

Using Decorative Beeswax on Pillar Candles 2

I find this time of year to be a bit depressing. Those of us in the northern hemisphere are still having some of the shortest days of the year, yet we have stored away all that remains of the various “festivals of lights”, which make dark and dreary December so joyful. So I thought that Dora and I could focus on making a bit more of our own light to help get us through the next two months of winter doldrums and cabin fever. The first project I chose for us to do was to decorate some pillar candles with Stockmar decorating wax. Having worked with Stockmar modeling wax quite a bit, I did not think to look up how to do this project. The wax was much stiffer and thinner than the modeling wax, so I got the impression that we should use punches, our nails, and knives to cut out shapes, which we pressed on to our candles. Dora and I made the candle above together, which Dora designed and I cut out the wax for. The design is of Dora and I in a boat at nighttime. Dora wants it to be known to everyone that she is actually the larger person in the boat. I’m sure Freud would have a jolly day psychoanalyzing that one, but I opted to smile and say “sounds good to me!”.

Using Decorative Beeswax on Pillar Candles 1

After we made these candles and I had a moment to do some follow up research and assess what went well and what went not-so-well with this craft project, I learned that the candle decorating wax can be manipulated more like the modeling wax than I realized. It can be cut and punched, but we probably should have warmed the wax a bit more, before trying to apply it to the pillars, so that it would have blended in a bit more. I also saw in the book, Crafts Through the Year, where people actually used knitting needles and other pointed objects to blend the wax in to the pillar, such that it ends up looking like the candle had been painted (the approach is much like needle felting). They even managed to have the wax color fade in and out, which I found to be very impressive. I definitely want to try this project again, as does Dora.

Unexpectedly, Dora has gotten the most joy from lighting these candles and roasting marshmallows over them to make s’mores (with adult supervision, of course). Our fireplace uses natural gas and has a glass screen in front of it, we have no fire pit, and never go camping, so this was actually her first experience with roasting marshmallows. Some of our older kids/young adults even got in on the marshmallow-roasting action! Really, who can resist roasted marshmallows (except for those of us who were missed out because we weren’t home when the action was going on – no I’m not bitter at all, just because I haven’t had a real s’more in years and years, why would I be bitter?!?!).

Please note my left sidebar for all the awesome link-ups that I am participating in.

Disclosure: Some item links in this post are affiliate links. I will make a small amount of money if you click on them and make a purchase. All opinions expressed, however, are 100% my own.

Maureen

Labels: Arts and Crafts, Beeswax, Waldorf
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff