Aluminum beeswax

Some shots from the studio tonight- I’ve been experimenting with rubbing aluminum powder directly onto the wax. The thing I like most about it is that as you move by the painting, the aluminum goes from dark to reflective shine, in relationship to the light source, so that the image changes pretty dramatically. As if it is interacting with the viewer. I love it when a painting does something unexpected like that…

14 thoughts on “Aluminum beeswax

    1. LisaK Post author

      Thanks, Beth! I’m not sure- I was just messing around with the aluminum powder, mixing it into the wax, painting it on top, fusing, covering with wax, etc. This was the one I liked the most- it has a kind of burnished look, being rubbed in like that.

    1. LisaK Post author

      I bought it at the Montserrat conference from a vendor from Canada- they are called Kama Pigments, and are a very affordable raw materials source. Another fantastic source is Douglas and Sturgess in San Francisco. I believe you can order online from either company.

  1. Lee Shiney

    When I read about your using aluminum powder, it brought back memories of mixing it with clear base to make silver screen printing ink. It, and the bronze powder I used for printing “gold”, are so finely ground they have very interesting properties when mixed into a liquid base. Love it that you are experimenting with it. BTW, those powders are also available from screen ink supply companies, not terribly expensive. The dust is extremely fine. I would only mix it outdoors or when wearing a mask, and it takes nothing to make it airborne.

    1. LisaK Post author

      Oh, interesting. Yes, the aluminum behaves strangely when mixed with the hot wax medium. I wasn’t happy with those results, so applying it directly to the surface has worked beautifully. It will be easily scratched, though, so I’ll have to be extra careful with handling. Did your aluminum oxidize over time?

  2. Lee Shiney

    Lisa, I never saw it oxidize, but it was encapsulated in the clear base and dried quickly. But, it also never seemed to change properties when in the can where it was exposed to air. I only mixed it on a per-job basis.

  3. Lee Shiney

    I’ll mention too that the amount of metal powder to liquid needed to be pretty precise. That could be a variable to experiment with. I use several modified soldering guns to drip wax, and I also melt and splatter wax right off the stick with a heat gun, and I notice the properties of the metallic pigments I get from R&F are noticeably different than plain colors.

  4. Josie Rodriguez

    Hi Lisa, congratulations on your upcoming show. I love the work on the postcard and your aluminum beeswax pieces! I also enjoy working with these powder pigments and encaustic especially gold and silver.
    All the best, Josie


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