Beeswax was used in the
casting of metal statues and figures and is still used this way in some
parts of the world. First, the object to be cast in metal is carved and
sculpted in beeswax. Next, the wax is covered with wet clay that is baked
and hardened, then the wax is melted away and the clay serves as a metal
Greeks knew of the solubility of wax in fats and oils, and used this
technique for painting on wax.
Created in Egypt 2,000 years
ago some of the most lifelike
paintings are the encaustic paintings. With hot beeswax, powdered pigments
are mixed with the liquid wax, then applied to a canvas. The finished
painting was subjected to the sun's heat and the whole painting was "burned
in" or blended in.