Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A new painting and how to clean raw beeswax!

I finished a new painting for the Suzi Blu class LaLaLa. I already gave it away to a bee-keeper in my village who was very kind giving me a big chunk of raw beeswax a couple of weeks ago. More about that later on!
This is the painting I especially made for him:

I used a shadow box without the glass. I first put a thin layer of modeling paste on certain parts of the frame and than used a small piece of a thin sheet of pure beeswax with a honeycomb motif as a stamp. Let it dry and then put gesso over it. Let it dry again and cover with yellow paint (glazed) mixed with some gold Mica powder. Let it dry and finish with burnt umber (glazed).
For the painting I used a small wooden box. I covered the back with pieces from a page of Winnie the Poeh (where he climbs a tree and flies with a blue balloon to get some honey).

This is a detail of the frame I decorated myself.

And here you can see more clearly that I've used a shadow box.

The bee-keeper was very surprised and he liked the painting very much. He gave me a big hug and told me that if I'm in need for some more beeswax I can stop by anytime!

So this is my story about how I got in touch with this bee-keeper and how I made the raw beeswax suitable for using on my paintings:

On August 1st I went for a bike ride in the afternoon because the weather was finally warm and sunny again (we've had a horrible Summer this year in my country!). In the next village I saw a sign near a house that they were selling home made honey. The bee-keeper was mawing his lawn and I asked him if he also sold beeswax. He told me he had just given away all of his beeswax to a befriended bee-keeper who happened to live in my village. I had a little chat with him, thanked him for the information and bought a pot of honey. When I arrived back in my village I went to see this other bee-keeper and he gave me a chunk of filthy/raw beeswax for free! 

So this is how my chunk of beeswax looked like before I cleaned it:

With a knife I scraped away a lot of the brown stuff. The bee keeper told me 
that it's crystallized honey.

I then put the chunk of beeswax in a small casserole which I then put in a large casserole with water. I slowly heated the water without letting it come to boil.

I put a nylon stocking on top of a square plastic container and pored the melted beeswax through the stocking. All the filthy parts in the beeswax 
stayed behind on top of the stocking.

I let the beeswax in the container rest for about an hour and then used a knife to cut it loose from the container and ... voila : a clean chunk of beeswax ready to be used for one of my next projects!

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