For a kids with allergies or other sensitivities, only the most gentle playthings will do. Art materials can be especially difficult to monitor, since every kid wants to color, paint, and play with clay, and yet the most popular brands are often the dirtiest, full of petroleum products and other unhealthy ingredients.
To this end, I’ve been purchasing and testing out a variety of high-quality natural art materials. I’ve traded some of our Crayolas in for Stockmar beeswax crayons, and learned to make natural glues, and I do already have a supply of both homemade modeling beeswax and Stockmar modeling beeswax, but I was curious to see if another popular brand, Artemis Plant Color Modeling Beeswax, could blow my other two favorite modeling beeswax materials out of the water.
In a word? Eh.
I like our homemade modeling beeswax because I know exactly what’s in it, and it’s far cheaper than store-bought modeling beeswax, and because we like to make things ourselves. I like the Stockmar modeling beeswax because Stockmar supplies data sheets on all their products, and so I also know exactly what’s in it, and because, even though it’s pricey, it’s also handy, and so makes for a reasonable splurge if I’m too strapped for time to make the girls another batch of homemade modeling beeswax.
The Artemis plant color modeling beeswax is a fine modeling beeswax, malleable and available in an attractive color range that the girls enjoyed playing with, and so perhaps one could use it to extend the range of homemade and Strathmore colors. My girls do enjoy the options that come with combining the colors available in all three versions.
However, if you’re purchasing modeling beeswax because you don’t want to make it yourself but you do want a product whose ingredients list is transparent, even a product like Artemis needs extra research, simply because they don’t have a data sheet or ingredients list easily available to the shopper. Although the Artemis site offers information generally about the plants that make the colorants, along with assurances of the natural nature of their products, if you were looking for specific ingredient information then you’d likely have to contact Artemis directly.
My girls like the Artemis modeling beeswax that I bought for them, but they’re sturdy kids, and I’m not so careful of their chemical exposure that I limit their contact with dirty art supplies–my kids still color with Sharpies and paint with spray paint when they’re not drawing with soy crayons and sculpting with modeling beeswax. If you were being extremely careful about your child’s exposure to certain ingredients, then you have more legwork to do.