Pharmaceutical Grade Beeswax

Pharmaceutical grade beeswax is the preferred choice in making quality encaustic paints. (read more on How to Make Encaustic Medium and Paint) Characteristically, pharmaceutical grade wax is semi-opaque to translucent, processed to remove any or all contaminants, leaving you with pure beeswax. It is also a standard established by the government certifying that the wax meets certain chemical requirements. It is also the standard in producing saponified wax.

The purpose or reason behind choosing pharmaceutical grade beeswax for your encaustic piece is not only for the stability of the paint, but for the visual or purity of the paint; to produce colors that are as rich and intense as they can be, not dulled by pollen or by the so called contaminants. As mentioned with other topics, these contaminants add to the ratios of ingredients; only so much material can be added to beeswax before it loses the ability to stay structurally sound. For example, one would only add so much coffee per cup, otherwise you end up with sludge or really strong coffee. One can handle a strong cup of coffee, but in the case of encaustic, to much pigment, hardener, or contaminant, will result in a breakdown of it's binding structure. Visually speaking, when it comes to that pesky pollen, that organic material can darken over time, making the colors in your piece dull and dingy.

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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