At Enkaustikos, we are dedicated to creating professional artist grade colors and use only the finest ingredients, regardless of costs. Our paints contain US Pharmaceutical (USP) Grade Beeswax, Damar Resin, and Artist Grade Pigments.
USP Grade Beeswax is a more expensive beeswax than Purified Beeswax but we use USP for a very good reason. USP Beeswax is a natural beeswax that goes through a heat filtering process that removes pollen and other natural adulterants that honey bees bring back to the honeycomb. This a chemical-free filtering process and it produces a highly refined beeswax without the use of bleaches. By using the USP Beeswax in our paints, it eliminates chemicals and bleaches from the artist's encaustic palette. USP Beeswax is the same type of beeswax that is used in cosmetics, medicinal ointments and lip balms.
Another natural ingredient that we use is Damar Resin. This is actually hardened tree sap. We heat filter this to remove bark and other debris that may have been trapped inside the sticky sap. It is important to note that we do not use damar varnish because it is made with turpentine, which is not only flammable but also harmful to breathe. We make sure to use only the finest Damar Resin in our paints and this, in combination with the USP beeswax, produces our Enkaustikos Wax Medium. To the Wax Medium, we add the highest quality pigments.
When it comes to selecting pigments, we select pigments after doing extensive research and testing. There are many different factors that we consider before selecting a pigment for our color line. Every artist considers factors like tinting strength and lightfastness when selecting their colors but, encaustic artists also have to factor in heat stability. Encaustic colors will be heated typically in the range of 150 to 175 degrees Fahrenheit. However, there will be times when an artist may inadvertently overheat an area with a hot air gun which could cross the 200 degree barrier. Consequently, encaustic artists must be concerned with the stability of their pigments under every possible condition. Therefore, we select pigments based on whether they are lightfast and engineered to withstand the heated encaustic process. We select only the best pigments suitable and this can even mean that we are buying pigments that cost up to $100 per pound! Through our research, testing, and commitment to quality colors we have added beautiful colors like Bismuth Yellow and avoided colors like Hansa Yellow which are not heat stable. Learn more.