DIY Mayan Blue and Wax Crayons with Natural Pigments


I have a lot of beeswax left from some experiments in Batik resist techniques on silk. I was really unsure what to do with it. Throwing away is a waste, I don't think I will be doing a lot of Batik though and my space is super limited for the time being.


My wonderful friend Chris Dalziel has a website worthwhile visiting if you are into natural remedies and everything wholesome, and she wrote a great blog with 42 things to make with beeswax.

I decided to try my hand at making beeswax crayons, and checked out a few recipes I found only to (as usual) extract my own recipe. I tried a small batch using natural dye extracts but that does not work, you will need mineral pigments for this. I get my mineral pigments from Earth Pigments.


You create a blue crayon, you will need Mayan Blue, a pigment made from clay powder and indigo.


Making Mayan Blue



Mayan blue you can make yourself by combining Fuller's earth, Bentonite clay or Kaolin clay with indigo. No need to use extra fancy indigo, I use my Indian indigo from the webshop.


Take measurements of 10 to 1 parts clay to indigo. Example; 50 grams of clay powder to 5 grams of indigo. Make sure there is no water involved in the process. All utensils should be fully dry.


Heat them slowly in a sauce pan while constantly stirring. The heat should come to between 150ºC and 200ºC, there will be smoke coming off the mixture and that's ok, keep stirring. The heat will sublimate the indigo pigments into the clay, the process takes at least 20 minutes.


The colour of your mixture changes from blue to turquoise and then to almost a deep purple. When it reaches the purple stage your mixture is ready and you can let it cool down. Once cooled down it will have a turquoise colour.


Store your pigment in a well closed container to keep it moisture free. To use, mix with a binder such as (soy) milk or egg white or mix with beeswax as you will read below, to make crayons.



For the crayons I used the following ingredients;


Beeswax 50 grams per crayon

You could use parafine or carnauba wax or a mix of them, I just used what I had.

Brown crayon; Havannah Ochre pigment 25 grams

Red crayon: Iron Oxide Pigment 25 grams

Blue crayon; Mayan Blue 25 grams

Green crayon Light Yellow Ochre 12.5 grams

Mayan Blue 12.5 grams


Hardware;

a saucepan with water

a glass bowl slightly larger than your saucepan (we are heating au bain marie)

a spoon or whatever you would like to use to stir the mixture

a silicone mould or cake moulds to pour your mixture in, I used mini english cake tines made of paper, ad recycled them multiple times for different batches.


Making Wax crayons

Melt 50 grams of wax in a glass bowl au bain marie, meaning on top of a saucepan filled with water.

Mix in the pigment and stir well.

Pour the mixture in your mould.

Let it cool down, but cut if necessary while still soft. If it is too hard it will break while cutting.



Use one pigment per colour or start mixing, it's up to you.




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All rights reserved, copyright all images and text @Suzanne Dekel/DekelDyes