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Re: Melted crayons


From: Dale (dtsafdie_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Sep 19 2004 - 19:55:59 PDT

I did crayon batik a couple of years ago with a large girl scout troop (pre-art teacher days). I am getting supplies together now (yard sale, etc) so I can do it with some of my art classes.

I used a muffin pan on top of a warming plate to melt crayon remnants. (I used the kind of warming plate used for serving at a buffet, not a hot plate meant to substitute for a stove.) The crayon is painted onto white fabric using the really cheap small craft brushes. The background is left unpainted. After the wax cools, crackle the fabric and place in a dark dye (I used navy). Once dyed, rinsed and dried, iron between newspapers to remove the wax. The colors of the crayon remain in the fabric.

I'm planning on setting up 4 stations that can be accessed from 2 sides so 8 students can paint the wax on at one time.

(a funny story about the crayons... I have two huge boxes of broken crayon pieces. II thought peeling paper off the crayons and sorting them into colors would be a task younger students could do after completing their project for the day. Several of the 2nd graders were very enthusiastic about helping with this and were making good progress. However, everytime I tried this a helpful child dumped all the sorted crayons back into the original box when I said it was time to clean up!)

Another idea, but I haven't tried it... The teacher demonstrated encaustic wax painting in a multimedia class I took. She used specially formulated colored wax for this but I was thinking that crayons might work for students. She made her encaustic art on boards with other elements added underneath and the wax built up on top. In some places she layered colors and then selectively removed or parts. She also melted the surface to create effects using a propane torch (definitely not a school activity!), but I am going to try a hairdryer to see if it does anything.

Dale in TN

----- Original Message -----
  To: ArtsEdNet Talk
  Sent: Saturday, September 18, 2004 9:49 PM
  Subject: Melted crayons

  I was trying to do this lesson Thursday that I found:

  paper, crayons, warming plate, paper towels for cleaning warming plate
  The teacher will plug in the warming plate at the beginning of the class. The teacher will tell the students to be careful around the warming plate because it does get warm. Students will then take a sheet of paper and place it on the warming plate. Then students should use their peeled back crayons to begin to draw on their paper. The warming plate will melt the crayons as they are drawing, enabling the crayons to glide smoothly over the paper. The crayon will have a different appearance, more like paint, instead of what the crayon usually looks like when colored with.

  Problem was, the paper started burning! Yes we were ventilating with open windows anyway.
  I guess my warming plate is too hot. It is just an electric eye and I put a metal cookie sheet on top.
  I wonder if I used a heavier cooking pan lined with foil if this would work.
  I tried it in an electric skillet lined with foil and it worked.
  I also tried putting water in it and melting crayons in a can and treating it as a double boiler but the warmer was incredibly hot and was boiling like crazy. The kids became nervous understandably.

  My question is, can anyone think of a way to paint with melted crayons where the crayon doesn't bunch up and make a messy glob? One 7th grade boy did a beautiful outline of a hammerhead in purple and indicated some seaweed at the bottom. Then we painted with Magic watercolors. He made the water turquoise and the hammerhead purple and indicated orange coral, etc. Then we dropped Epsom salt on it and it was exquisite!
  The others crashed and burned (literally)

  I really like the paper in the electric skillet, the kids got a smooth look and I think there are many possibilities there. But I would need 10 skillets or so for it to work for a class.

  I have really exhausted all my thinking skills on this. Help!?!?