I was looking at all of those lovely canvases with the crayons glued across the top or in a pattern, and I wanted to play with the colored wax… but in a small art journal, there really isn’t space to glue full-sized crayons on the page.
So I improvised. And I loved it.
I started out with a gesso covered page, selected a few colors, unwrapped them, and ran them over a grater.
Yes, I bought a dollar store grater just for this purpose. Don’t worry, the cheese won’t be tasting like crayons!
Once I had the grated wax about where I wanted it on the page, I covered it with a sheet of waxed paper & ironed it.
Yes, I know. The baby iron is adorbs. I think I picked it up at Joann’s or Wal-mart ages ago. It really is the perfect size for this though! (unlike the costumes I was originally trying to iron with it. Don’t ask, it’s too painful to remember)
You can use the edge of the iron to push the wax around a little bit, but not much.
As you can see, the wax fuses to the paper fairly well. There are a few ‘white spaces’ where I used the edge of the iron to scrape the wax around, but it had to be pretty warm before it would move like that.
I added a 2nd & 3rd layer on top of the 1st layer as well, but the colors started to run together.
While I liked the combinations of the colors, the white of the paper still felt a little bright to me. So, I decided to see how much black paint I could get to stick to the paper…
Keep in mind that wax-resist is a technique that is used to keep paint off of paper. And in melting & spreading the wax, it created a very nice seal on the paper.
The black didn’t stick to very much, however it bubbled up on the wax nicely. I let it dry for a bit to see if the paint would stay.
OK, so maybe I helped it along with a heat gun here or there. Patience is a virtue that I am sorely lacking in. What can I say?
While the paint was drying on that side, I decided to hit the opposite page with black paint BEFORE attacking it with wax. I may have helped that dry a bit too.
Then I decided to modify the glued crayon idea, and held the crayons along the edges & middle of the page while hitting them with a heat gun. I learned that the page really needs to be sitting at a fairly steep angle for it to stay true to the crayon color & not fade while it spreads, which means that the wax is going to run.
There aren’t any pictures of this process, as it took two hands just to accomplish it. But here is a picture after it was done:
Personally, I prefer the look of the grated & ironed crayon. I think it would make some really fun impressionistic floral pages! My daughter, however, preferred the look of the heat gun-melted crayons. To each their own. I also plan to experiment with doing a thicker layer and etching it with a toothpick or other sharp object.
I would love to treat crayons like encaustics and paint with them, but I don’t currently have the tools to try that theory out. I suspect they will work similarly, but I don’t think they will have the heat resistance that true encaustics have.
All in all, I think that melted crayons create a fun, bright page. I will be experimenting with this idea more in the future.