Cold Wax Workshop at Castle Hill Arts Center with Miles Conrad

Cold Wax Workshop at Castle Hill Arts Center with Miles Conrad

Cold Wax Workshop at Castle Hill Arts Center, Truro, MA
June 4 and 5, 2018 – with Miles Conrad
By Otty Merrill

I recently attended a 2-day workshop, entitled “Cold Wax Demystified”, along with eight other artists from around the US and Canada. Here is a brief synopsis and some information that I learned.

The instructor, Miles Conrad, divided the workshop into two parts. Day 1 was all about solvent based COLD WAX – brands such as Gamblin, Dorlands and Evans Encaustic. We played with adding color, pigments, layering and discovering what you can and can’t (ought not!) do with Cold Wax. Because COLD WAX is oil based, it is similar to oil paint and dries slowly. Solvents are part of the composition and should be used carefully. Also, since paper is flammable, you should not use a torch or open flame.

Tuscan Bust, 8 x 8, Hot Wax over Cold Wax on Arches Oil Paper, Otty Merrill

The second day was focused on CUNI wax. CUNI wax is also a COLD WAX but VERY different in several ways. It is safe to place hot wax over CUNI WAX (to fuse). It is not flammable and fumes seem non-existent. Using synthetic brushes is recommended. You can achieve watercolor type effects by thinning it with clear wax or water, and you can use it on top, below and in between layers of hot wax, if you like. The consensus of the group was that this was a wonderful product and fun to use…a beautiful lightweight smooth consistency…and, because it is water soluble, it cleans up so easily with just soap and water.

The CUNI paints come in tubes like regular paints and are pre-mixed in many “ready to go” colors. CUNI wax is also sold in jars as a colorless medium, and you may add your own pigment, not unlike COLD WAX. I have attached an order form to give you some idea of the paints and products available. You can contact Miles for an order form at At this time, Miles is the sole US distributor of CUNI Wax.

The wax is very similar in chemical composition to the authentic Cuni wax discovered in Greece and Rome being used in encaustic painting way back, Any questions, contact Miles at

Hope this was interesting and maybe helpful.