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The specialist international beekeeping organisation

Lost wax casting and batik

Lost wax technique

Because beeswax is very plastic it is very easy to mould and carve. When cold it maintains its shape over long periods of time as can be attested by the discovery of wax sculptures in Egyptian tombs. Its low melting point allows easy and complete removal from casting moulds.

In summary, the beeswax is carved into the shape required by the sculptor. When it is complete the wax is covered completely by the material to be used for the casting mould. Once the mould is prepared the wax can be melted and removed. The hollow space in the mould is then filled with molten metal. Once the metal is set the casting can be broken off to reveal the metal sculpture underneath. The wax is collected and reused.


Textiles can be waterproofed using various products containing beeswax. Batik is a traditional method of colouring cloth that uses this property of beeswax. It is based on the principle that the wax will protect the areas where the dye is not required while allowing the remaining areas to take up the colour. Very complex, multicoloured designs can be produced by using multiple applications of wax.


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