... some suggestions for tools & peripherals
that might be helpful in using Master Paste Original

Mixing Slab

Firm & solid glass plate, mirror or clean surfaced metal sheet. This surface need to be perfectly flat adn non-absorbent so that mixing is accurate and the palette is easily cleanable. A white surface is the ideal to enable clear perception of the exact colour and transparency being mixed with the MPO and colouring material.

Palette Knives

There are numerous palette knives in the world, but in the EncausticWorld there are just the 3 shown here. Of course any palette knife can be used, but the key is the mixing knife. Flimsy knives are not really much good with wax paste.

The mixing Knife shape is well know throughout the various mediums where palette knife application is usual. Its distinct 'long edge / short edge' shape make it ideal for hand mixing MPO with either dry pigments or oil paint colours. It is also great for application of coloured or clear MPO & very versatile.

The knife shapes & sensitivities required by the artist will determine the eventual choice of palette knife - exploration is necessary. But these 3 are an excellent start and enable a multitude of effective strokes.

Palette knives available here

Gas Torch



UK supplier: Rothenberger Trigger Torch With Gas Holder 3.4120

Gas torches need to be very controlled. The temperature required is a low one for MPO.

75C is really the most you are advised to use, so choose a torch that allows very low flame control. The flame on this torch can be set to a soft bendable finger of about 6cm length - that is ideal.

This model is used by Antonin Sedlacik & Michael Bossom because it works very well & allows great mobility too. It has a built in ignition switch and then the flame control is by turning the gas cylinder top.

This link will take you to a UK supplier.

NOTE: you need to buy GAS as well as the torch. The gas is sold separately.

Hot Air Gun  supply UK & European model
Electric Hot Air

Low heat and low air flow are necessary for fusing MPO with electrically powered hot air guns or hair dryer type tools.

Some craft supplies also offer hot air products for embossing in rubber stamping activities. These are usually high heat and low air flow, so used with care they can be good for fusing too.

Using the hot air gun with normal open pipe nozzle.

Hot Air Gun  supply UK & European model

A tip to reduce the blowing effect of hot air moving the wax during the melting / fusing process is to place a metal sieve between the air source and the wax surface being melted.

Metal sieve disperses disruptive air force.

This disperses a lot of the air flow force, allowing heat to penetrate but not sufficient air to disturbe the wax being fused. This really can help preserve finer details in the artwork.

Pigments Any good dry pigments can be used. More pigment in the ratio makes the paste drier. The MPO needs to maintain adhesion to underlying surfaces so do not make the paste too dry. Allow it to remain at least a little moist and hold the 'paste' form.
Oil Paints The more 'oily' the paints then the more of that oil you are introducing into your MPO mixture. This will alter the drying speed and affect the nature of the wax paste result slightly. You need to explore your own tastes in this respect.
Priming Choices White paint or coloured paint - Gesso, Latex paint, or just work direct with MPO. One way to ensure a great bond to the surface is to cover the support with MPO lightly but carefully, then fuse that into the board. Some MPO will absorb into the substrate fabric upon melting - how much will depend upon the porosity of the substrate. The keying anchor of MPO on non-absorbent materials will not be improved in this way.
Support Materials Medium Density Fibre Board (MDF, Masonite (Hardboard), & many other types of surface are suitable for MPO application. Thin application works can absorb some flexibility of the support. But like all thicker wax applications it is best to use rigid supports in those situations.
Cloths Old tee shirt or linen cloths are handy for cleaning and polishing. Tissues are ok for some cleaning, but the MPO has fantastic adhesion and so it is better to use cloth than tissue in all other aspects of working.

Use one of those non-toxic non-flammable solvents for clean-up when you want to get the whole work space back to some more pristine form!