Late last week, during our art time, we got out the kids' brand new boxes of modelling wax. After exploring and naming the different colors and noticing the warm beeswaxy scent, we proceeded to soften it up using the warmth of our hands. Now, if you've never used modelling wax before, you should know that this is not qickly done. It's pretty stiff, and warming it takes a great deal of time and patience.
|F warming his wax|
When S decided it was to hard to soften it just to her liking, she began to lose interest in making something with the material. We happened to be working at the table, which had two tea lights burning in lanterns the kids had made. (My kids love candle light and request it at every meal. We had just finished lunch and had left the candles burning.) I held my piece of wax over the top of the lantern jar, where the heat was just warm enough, and VOILA! In moments we had lovely, soft, pliable wax.
Following suit, F and S both warmed their pieces and delighted in the soft, silky texture, and pearly, translucent colors of the wax. It is truly a joy to work with, unlike anything we have ever used. So with the softening figured out, we moved on to actually forming shapes with our fingers. In the past, I have made playdough with the kids. Playdough is soft, can be acted upon quickly and with force (pounding, rolling, cutting) and will comply easily with the maker's hands or tools. Beeswax is no such thing. It must be pinched, pulled, rolled, and otherwise shaped with the fingers alone. ("What amazing fine-motor work!" the teacher in me thought. I immediately vowed to put away the playdough.)
|from left to right, F's mushrooms, |
my gnome, S's gnome and mushroom
|S and her first running stitch!|