I worked on two wax collage's yesterday. I use Claudine Hellmuth's instructions in her book Collage Discovery Workshop. Here is the delicious pound of local beeswax I bought at a craft fair.
I broke the wax into smaller chunks using a screwdriver and hammer. Hellmuth says to freeze the wax first for ease in breaking it up. I didn't take the time to do that. The smaller the pieces of wax the shorter the melting time.
My new $8 crock pot to melt the wax. Once you use it to melt wax you can never use it for anything else. Also, don't put the lid back on once you have scooped out wax as it may stick forever. Best to set all this equipment on a metal surface or non-burnable surface.
Other tools include a quilting iron to blend and smooth the wax once applied to the canvas.
A hot air gun is handy to reheat the wax on the canvas. If you add another layer of wax later you must do this so the two wax layers will meld together properly.
To add bits of color you can melt wax crayon drippings onto the collage.
Use cheap, natural bristle paint brushes available at your local house paint supplier or hardware store. The brushes can only be used for wax for as you see the wax coagulates on the bristles. But never mind, when you dip it again in the hot wax it will soften up.
I used a piece of handmade paper with embedded ferns as the background paper for this collage. You can melt wax directly onto the canvas and use it as glue for the background paper. Or you can use regular glue such as YES paste to apply the initial background paper. I use YES paste as wax is so expensive and not necessary to use for this first application. Next, I brushed the top of the background paper and the rest of the canvas border with hot wax.
I layered the picture, the post card and the old calling card on top of the hot wax. I used the quilting iron to smooth the wax. Use a metal device such as tweezers to press the items into the wax lest you burn your fingers.
This is how it looks right now. Later, I can reheat the wax if I want. I can move things around again or remove the flower branch. Not sure if I like it or not. I can incise words in the hot wax although I can't find my incisor right now.