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Microchrystalline sculpting wax for candles/ Dye questions

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So I admit, firstly I'm not really here for candle community so much as to learn a thing or two about technical aspects of the craft.

I've been inspired by the artist Petah Coyne to make a few sculptures that use wax and candles as a main ingredient, but I've hit a few pitfalls. work sort of like whats displayed on her gallery is sort of what I'm going for


I got a bunch of dark red microchrystalline wax for free that i want to use, but I need it black. (the sort of thing i found is here: http://www.sculpt.com/catalog_98/Wax/Micro.htm)

what sort of dye should i use on this kind of wax?

can I make this dark red wax actually black?

what is candle dye made up of actually?

if i cant get what I need out of what I have, I need a stiff black wax to melt over a bunch of stuff, what combination of wax/dye should i use?

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I think this might be convenient for you:


It's the best selection all in one place.

We normally use solvent dyes for coloring wax, because they are soluble in candlemaking materials. That lessens the effect on burn performance.

The ones listed as "powdered" are pure dye. Very concentrated and economical but can be a little difficult to work with. Liquid colorants with dye in a solvent base are the most popular, but it's a matter of preference. Solid colorants are often used as well. Both are just dilutions of the pure dye powder.

For your application, pigments are quite usable too. We normally use them in wax that won't be burned, like carved candles. You might get a more opaque effect from those.

A bit more info on the options here: http://www.candlecauldron.com/dyes.html

I can imagine how the material you bought could be useful for sculpture. Just don't expect it to melt and solidify in the way you would imagine candle wax behaving. For that you would want a normal paraffin rather than micro. It's also possible to mix the two together to get different properties, such as varying viscosity and pliability.

Good luck.

Edited by topofmurrayhill
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