Day 286 – Adventures in Wax

Hello Yearlings!

I have some new and exciting things that I’ve been cooking up recently that I’m excited to share with you guys, but mostly I’m just excited to be learning new skills and using science a lot so excuse me if I get off on a super technical tangent any time in the near future. It really can’t be helped. I’ve actually learned all sorts of stuff recently, like what temperature crayons melt at and the difference in the quality of soy/paraffin wax. Basically everything has been wax or wax related for a while now. Also, whoever said you get thirty minutes of light from burning a crayon totally lied. I got like nine minutes max.

I digress, as burning crayons isn’t really relevant here it was just a cool thing I did. What is cool is making tiny little wax figures using cookie cutters so I get super cool looking shapes. I also learned that a really great way to dye wax is actually to use shavings of crayons for color so you don’t get too much pigment and the color you do get out of it doesn’t mess with the emulsion because it’s already suspended in wax. Ugh, I just love science!

Both soy wax and crayons melt at about 125 F, but crayons can take a little more heat than that, probably because they’re treated in some way. Crayons do begin to soften at about 105 F, which explains a lot of thing about my childhood and why my crayons were never the same after I left them in the car during the middle of summer. I would like to take this moment to retroactively apologize to my mother for all of the messes my forgotten art supplies made in her car year after year.

Place your wax in a heat-proof bowl that will conduct the heat properly without burning anything. Shave your crayon of choice into your wax until you start to get the color that you're looking for. You might need more than you think just to make sure that you get the right intensity of color that you're looking for. This is by far the most tedious bit, because if you just chunk up the crayon into the wax you will end up with too much crayon that doesn't really want to melt at the end.
Place your wax in a heat-proof bowl that will conduct the heat properly without burning anything. Shave your crayon of choice into your wax until you start to get the color that you’re looking for. You might need more than you think just to make sure that you get the right intensity of color that you’re looking for. This is by far the most tedious bit, because if you just chunk up the crayon into the wax you will end up with too much crayon that doesn’t really want to melt at the end.
Then just bring everything up to temperature and make sure everything is melted. Then pick your "mold", cover the bottom in a tight layer of aluminum foil and pour your wax into your mold. Technically you could do this without leaving in the cookie cutter but I was too worried about ripping the aluminum foil to take the cookie cutter out.
Then just bring everything up to temperature and make sure everything is melted. Then pick your “mold”, cover the bottom in a tight layer of aluminum foil and pour your wax into your mold. Technically you could do this without leaving in the cookie cutter but I was too worried about ripping the aluminum foil to take the cookie cutter out. Then just leave it to cool for at least an hour, just to be safe. You might need more time if you’re making something thick and you want to be sure that this has fully set before you start playing with it. Once it’s cool you’re done and you’ve got a cool new wax toy to play with.

Ingredients:

50 g soy wax

Small cookie cutter

Crayon, whatever color you like

Foil

Of course, because I’m me, I had to make this Halloween themed so my first adventure in wax is a small black coffin that I personally think would make the perfect desk accompaniment for the medical examiner in anyone’s life. It came out so ridiculously adorable I almost can’t stand it. It’s not perfect by any means, but I love it and it’s a great first attempt especially considering that I didn’t have a proper mold and had to make one. Warning: crayons smell crazy weird and they really only get stranger smelling once you’ve melted them down a bit and re-solidified them again.

More in this vein to come soon, so be patient!

Lots of Love,

Maya

Advertisements

One thought on “Day 286 – Adventures in Wax

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s