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Beeswax; Bleached and Refined

Chemical bleaching (using peroxide or sulfuric acid) is a process that only masks the colorant, it does not remove the contaminant (e.g. pollen), thus leaving the problem of the contaminant still needing to be considered as part of the pigment ratios when making your own encaustic paint. Archival concerns, these whitened waxes can return to their original colored state- they are not lightfast and yellow over time. Furthermore, chemical bleaching causes other reactions that effect the wax- a whole lot of scientific mumbo-jumbo. Chemically bleached wax is not recommended.

Sun bleaching is a safe alternative; however, only the colorant has been broken down by the ultraviolet light of the sun. Again, the contaminant is still taking up prime real-estate in your community of ingredients- so remember that in the ratios of making your own encaustic. It is not cost effective for a company or large scale business, requiring lots of space, but it is a gentle way of discoloring wax for your own individual needs- mind you have the patience.

Refined beeswax is a term generically attributed to wax that has been filtered or bleached (not chemical) or some combination of the two. Simply put, depending on bee varieties, strains, environment/plant(s), etcetera, which the pollen was collected from, make some wax incapable of the bleaching process to whiten the wax fully.

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---------------------------------------{ A Note to Readers }---------------------------------------

Revisiting old topics and filling in holes is quite a chore, yet a necessary one, one that will offer more quality information. For example: recent activity and questions surrounding hardboard and/or masonite, has directed our attention to fill in the blanks on that topic (currently under revision/addition), as well as, more about gesso (specifically encaustic gesso) and other topics (search the tabs), all are in the works. 

Prior years were to get as much general information as possible up and available- a starting point. More and more however, new topics are focused and detailed, and old ones will be getting revisiting; removing any possibility of confusion. 

I should point out that this is a one person operation (takes me awhile to get around to everything, ohh yeah, I should make some art), Anyway, where was I?, oh! one person operation..., even though I tend to refer in posts and topics as we, it is to remove the need to revisit things later when it really is we. All of this whilst working, making art, and whatever may be the case.

As always, I welcome any opinions, comments, and questions- simply contact me.

Thank you
Jonathan Parks