BeesWax and Batik
Last summer I harvested honey from my one hive–such gentle bees and so productive. I got about two gallons from those industrious creatures. And I had cappings–wax!
I saved the cappings in the freezer for processing in cooler weather when it might be nice to be in a kitchen with the oven going. One pan was processed in the oven but then I still had another bag of cappings and the first batch of processed cappings.
Batik has always fascinated me–and I wanted to try it. So off to the store to find an electric fry pan with a temperature gauge. None to be found in the one store—but a cute little crock pot for less than ten dollars. Would it work?
Dumped the bag of frozen wax in there–and I thought we had gotten all of the honey out of it—Nope!
By the time we finished with both bags of cappings (two harvests) we had half a quart of honey. And we strained out a lot of bee legs and bits of leaves and so forth. The house smelled wonderful–like baking bread or simmering cinnamon sticks.
On to batik!
I used a vintage potato masher for one piece. The wax needs to be hot–and the masher (metal) needs to stay in the wax long enough to heat the metal–otherwise you end up with a wax coated masher and no wax on the fabric. The wax has to penetrate the fabric to be successful.
Beeswax does not crack as much as paraffin does–but I did get a few cracks. I think if I had put it in the freezer and then scrumched the fabric, I might have gotten more. Next up is a dried corn cob.
here is the wax melting in the little crock pot.
and here is my first waxing. I dyed the fabric after this waxing and then re-waxed in opposite direction and dyed again. Tomorrow I’ll show the finished piece.