How to Make Modelling Wax

bronze art africa

Bronze casters use Modelling Wax in a process called the “lost wax” process when they cast bronze statues and art works.

Proportions will vary according to the bronze caster’s preferences but the basic ingredients are:

Artists also use Modelling Wax but they generally add a filler to their wax mixture.  Anyone sculpting a prototype or model, will need a wax that is soft and malleable.   The basic ingredients for this type of Modelling Wax are:

  • paraffin wax
  • microcrystalline wax
  • ball clay or talc
  • candle dye
  • Vaseline (optional)

More About the Components of Modelling Wax

Paraffin Wax

Paraffin wax is also known as candle wax.   Preferably use fully-refined paraffin wax.  This wax has a low oil content, which makes it solid at room temperature but also brittle.

Microcrystalline Wax

Microcrystalline Wax is also called Microwax.  It is more viscous, tackier (sticky), elastic and flexible than paraffin wax.  It is used in various types of modelling clay as well as in cosmetics.

Candle Dye

Candle Dye is a fine powder which is oil-soluble.  Don’t be tempted to use food colouring, which is water soluble, to colour wax.

Vaseline

Vaseline is pure petroleum jelly.  Petroleum jelly is soft and oily.  Add petroleum jelly to your modelling wax to make it softer .. but careful, not too much else your wax will lose its body and structure.