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Friday, April 23, 2010

Ink Blot #02- Making a Wax Seal

Making a wax seal for your envelopes is pretty easy and a ton of fun if you have a couple of simple tools. All you need is sealing wax, a stamp (usually brass) with a handle, and a heat source (butane lighter works well). My source is J. Herbin, the French company owned by Clairefontaine. They've been making wax continually since the 1600's, and they have a neat product called supple wax that's flexible when hardened and can withstand going through today's mail system. I also have some custom wood handles I've been making for fun, and I'd love to get some feedback!

Link to YouTube for iPhones and full-screen viewing.

13 comments:

  1. Cool! Nice to see and learn variations to procedure. I've been using a butane mini torch but that lighter looks better. I love to use wax seals and I love your wood handle! Thanks...

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  2. I used wax seals at the office where I was a consultant many years ago. The firm was having a snooping problem because of some sensitive information in a couple of reports that were run off and left for pickup every few weeks.

    Rather than making a Federal case out of it, I simply ran my reports, affixed a wax seal, and dropped the administrator an email telling her that the report was ready to be picked up from my desk the next time she was in the office (often not on the same day as me).

    I randomly used a few different was seals and a few different colors of wax so no one was going to take the unlikely route of going online to buy a similar seal. I even would apply ink to the seal sometimes.

    No more snooping. Problem solved.

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  3. When I get to a point where the battonet is only a stub, I like to use a bent paper clip as sort of a handle so I can use the wax without running too big of a risk of burning my fingers. That's the kind of thing I'm prone to do:)

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  4. Interesting method - I'd not be happy letting my children make seals like this. A teaspoon of wax over a tea light, the fire/woodburner or on the Aga is our method of melting wax - and you need two spoons! One to make the closure, as soon as you have your closure, before the wax is solid apply the second spoonful and then your seal firmly until cool.

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  5. I wouldn't say my process is particularly kid-friendly. The spoon method is a time-tested process that many people use.

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  6. If you're lucky you can actually find traditional "spoons" designed for melting sealing wax at antique fairs etc. Sadly they have an annoying habit of being too expensive for me, but they are interesting - they tend to be deep cones (about 2-3cm deep) with a handle made of wood, bone or ivory and they have a lip to help direct the wax as you pour. They hold considerably more wax than a modern teaspoon!

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  7. Perhaps a modern coffee scoop would work?

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  8. I love the wood handle you made nice job!

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  9. Thanks! I haven't been able to make these for a while, I kind of miss it :)

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  10. I have one of these - I purchased a wax sealing set in Paris that had a spoon, a tealight, two wax sticks and a stamp. It cost 26 Euros. The spoon is ceramic and similar to a soup spoon.

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  11. Loved this video...short, sweet and very informative. Thanks!

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  12. Great! 3 years old now and still relevant :)

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  13. Where can you buy the nice wax? I have only been able to find the kind with the wicks! thank you in advance, I can't wait to try out my seal, armed with the knowledge from this tutorial!

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