In its pure form, a plastic-like animal substance secreted by bees. However, the meaning is expanded to include materials that resemble beeswax and may be vegetable in origin such as Paraffin, Carnauba and Candelilla. Unless specified in artist's materials, wax refers to white bleached beeswax. Although wax is related to oil, it is not fluid at normal temperature, which makes it useful as protective covering. However, all waxes, although varying in melting points, are not very durable because they melt at less than 100 degrees Centigrade or 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Among American artists known for using wax are sculptors Daniel Bowen, Johann Rauschner, Giuseppe Valaperta, Theodore Garlick, Reuben Moulthrop, Johann Rauschner and Patience Lovell Wright. Lucy Rosado of New Orleans came from a family of waxworkers who went back several generations. Ethel Mundy revived the art of wax portraiture in 20th-century American sculpture. She worked with a chemist to create methods of preservation and color-fading prevention. Petah Coyne, a contemporary sculptor, incorporates wax into her modernist installations. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"; AskART database (LPD)<br><br>Any of various natural, oily or greasy heat-sensitive substances, including beeswax, ceresin, carnauba, tallow, paraffin, and micro-crystalline wax. Most waxes consist of hydrocarbons or esters of fatty acids that are insoluble in water but soluble in most organic solvents. Ozocerite or paraffin is a solid, plastic or liquid substance, a petroleum byproduct, used in coating paper, in crayons, and other products. Both natural and synthetic waxes are used in painting as binders, and as an important ingredient in candles and polishes. They are also important materials used for carving and modeling, generally over an armature, and in casting.Solvents used to dissolve various waxes include alcohol, acetone, benzine, turpentine, ether, and carbon tetrachloride. Waxes are often softened for carving or modeling by heating in a double boiler or with a light bulb, by sculpting with tools warmed over an alcohol lamp, or by the use of soldering irons, alcohol lamps, and blowpipes. Wax can be melted for casting in a double boiler. Additives used with waxes include rosin, dyes, petroleum jelly, mineral oil, and many solvents.WARNING!Avoid synthetic chlorinated waxes. They are too hazardous to use for art purposes, because they can cause a severe form of acne (chloracne) or worse: many contain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which can cause fatal forms of cancer.FLAMMABLE!Overheating wax can result in the release of flammable wax vapors, as well as in the decomposition of the wax to release acrolein fumes and other decomposition products which are EXPLOSIVE!highly irritating by inhalation.Explosions have occurred from heating wax that contained water.TAKE NOTE!Alcohol and acetone are slightly toxic solvents by skin contact and inhalation; benzine and turpentine are moderately toxic by skin contact, inhalation, and ingestion. Carbon tetrachloride is extremely toxic, possibly causing liver cancer and severe liver damage, even from small exposures. Exposure to carbon tetrachloride can be fatal by skin absorption or inhalation.