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  1. Waxes used: - J. Herbin supple wax, Ivory - Atelier Gargoyle sealing wax, Ivory Paper used: - G. Lalo Verge de France 100g laid paper (envelope) Method: - Chunk of wax placed in brass spoon and heated over a denatured alcohol lamp. Round 1 - Detail The impression made in the J. Herbin wax (left) has what I would describe as "higher acutance," thus appearing "sharper;" however, there is no less detail in the Atelier Gargoyle impression. http://i.imgur.com/RTxnQEzl.jpg Winner: Tie Round 2 - Mailability I conducted this test in two phases. In phase one, I slowly folded the envelope through the middle of the seal. The J. Herbin wax cracked a fold angle of around 60°, while the Atelier Gargoyle wax did not crack, even when folded 180° and the paper creased; impressive! http://i.imgur.com/wdhshzLl.jpg In phase two, to simulate postal sorting machines, I passed the seals through a vegetable peeler. http://i.imgur.com/JCZLFzel.jpg The J. Herbin wax did not fare the vegetable peeler well. The Atelier Gargoyle wax remained intact(!) during this test, so I continued mauling the seal with a peeler until the paper actually tore (note the "tear" did not go through the lining of the envelope). I believe even this could have been avoided if there weren't so much "blobbage" protruding from the seal (my fault). http://i.imgur.com/xjRa2G3l.jpg Winner: Atelier Gargoyle Round 3 - Properties Specific heat: The J. Herbin wax has a markedly lower specific heat than the Atelier Gargoyle. The former (using my method) easily overheats, causing bubbles to occur. I found the latter immune to accidental overheating; however, it did cause the seal used to make the impression to get hotter. Both drawbacks can be mitigated with various techniques. Viscosity: The J. Herbin wax is much more viscous at a given temperature. I found it possible to pour the J. Herbin wax onto the page and "sift" the paper to form the correct blob shape. With the Atelier Gargoyle wax, I found it easer to use the spoon or the wax stick itself to shape the blob. I prefer the less viscous Atelier Gargoyle, but it's really a matter of preference. Smell: I didn't think I'd be including this one till I noticed the Atelier Gargoyle wax smelled like yummy incense. The J. Herbin wax smells like burning wax - not a bad, but not better! Winner: Tie IV. Cost Each stick of Atelier Gaygoyle wax is, as measured by eye, at least double the volume of each stick of J. Herbin wax. Thus, the Atelier Gargoyle wax is 25% cheaper by volume. Winner: Atelier Gargoyle Conclusion For use on documents or anything that won't be on the exterior of a piece of mail, I would be happy to use either wax, though I would prefer the Atelier Gargoyle. It has superior properties, smells delicious, is cheaper, and is sold by the very friendly proprietors of ateliergargoyle.com (no affiliation). Winner: Atelier Gargoyle
  2. So during the day I make my own lotions, soaps, lip balms and other personal care products. What I make is pretty similar to what you can find at a Gardener's or Craft Market. So my love of crafting has spilled over into my letter writing. I got frustrated with the limitations of most sealing wax and the expense of the really good sealing wax so I decided to make my own. Here is my recipe so you can try it out yourself! I have it in both grams and ounces so use whichever you prefer. 80 grams Beeswax 16 grams Emulsifying Wax (You can find this at most cosmetic supply stores.) 4 grams Soy Wax (This helps stiffen the mixture just a tiny bit to make sure you get that tamper evident seal that is mailable!) A pea size to a bean size of Oil Soluble Lip Color (The color must be oil soluble! I get most of my colors mixed into oil already because it is easier to use and less messy than powders.) 2 0.15 cc Silver Mica (You can use other pearlescent powders but I found glitter to be too large for my sealing wax. If I used glitter, I couldn't get a smooth texture. 0.15 cc scoops are these tiny scoops used for measuring various powders. These work great!) 2.82 oz Beeswax 0.56 oz Emulsifying Wax 0.14 oz Soy Wax A pea size to a bean size of Oil Soluble Lip Color 2 0.15 cc Silver Mica Measure everything but your colors into a microwave safe container. Heat until the mixture is liquid. Caution! It will be hot! While the waxes are still liquid add your colors and silver mica. Or don’t add any color if you like the natural look. Pour the hot mixture into molds or containers. I used an ice cube mold from IKEA but you can use anything you have on hand. I found that pouring the mixture into silicone molds made it easier to remove from the mold when cool. I like the longer sticks because I can keep my fingers away from the flame. I guess next thing for me is a sealing wax spoon. Here are my waxes in action. These are all of the colors I made. Thanks for letting me share!
  3. Can someone suggest a good source in the US for hard sealing wax without wicks? I notice that Amazon.co.uk sells Pelikan sealing wax, but it's quite expensive and I'm not sure if it's the hard kind.

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