My Favorite Things:

Strip Wax (Darkened)

 
 

Electric styluses are convenient and easier to use, but they have several drawbacks–for one thing, they don’t darken the wax like traditional styluses do.  No candle means no soot which means light colored wax......and wax lines.  Dark lines make it easier to see what has been written on an egg.

It is possible to buy darkened wax, to which colorants have been added. UGS, EggCessories and other suppliers sell darkened beeswax.


It is also possible to darken your own beeswax–I remember booklets suggesting adding black shoe polish or black crayons to melted beeswax. A better alternative is to use candle dyes, which are made form aniline dyes, and sold in either liquid or wax chip form; while many craft shops sell candle dyes, they rarely carry black or other very dark colors.


A second problem is getting the beeswax into the electric stylus.  The shape of most reservoirs and tips on electrics styluses makes it difficult to scoop up wax like you can with a traditional one.  Elko at UGS came up with an elegant solution–spaghetti wax, which is pictured at the top of the page.  The thin, six inch long tubes of dark wax could easily be fed into the reservoir; as the UGS web site says, “Place one end into the funnel of your electric kistka, and the proper amount of wax instantly melts into your tool.”  I don’t know how it is made, but the wax appears to have been extruded into thin rods. It is sold in resealable bags of 24 strips.

Wax art supply also sells wax for electric styluses; they have a darkened strip wax which works the same way.  The main difference is that this wax has been cut into strips, so it would have a square cross section, rather than a round one.  They also sell a handy storage box:




It is also possible to make your own strip wax.  There are many ways of doing this; I have seen people suggest using a citrus peeler on darkened wax, and of pouring darkened wax onto a sheet of foil and then cutting it into strips when it cools.  I make mine by pouring darkened wax shallowly into silicone candy molds, popping out the flat wax pieces and then cutting them into strips with a hot scalpel (one that has been heated in a candle flame).





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Single Serve Wax