Lacey Lia January 13, 2021 coloring cute crayon
The history of Conte Crayon is interesting. During the French Revolution, when Paris was under siege, much needed supplies of English graphite were permanently embargoed, creating a problem for the French pencil-maker, artist and scientist Nicholas-Jacques Conté. Conté had opened his pencil factory with his brother, Louis in 1793. For his business to survive, he had to find another way to produce a workable writing medium with a minimal amount of graphite that could be manufactured in France.
In 1795 Conté developed a method that involved mixing powdered local graphite with clay, waxes and water, firing the mixture in a kiln and forcing it into wooden casings. This process allowed the French to produce their own pencils and control the hardness of the leads, which in turn controlled the darkness of the mark made by the pencil. The process was so successful that Conté became synonymous with pencil, and Conté still manufactures high grade writing and drawing tools.
In the oven: Set your oven to 250 degrees. Create new crayons by melting the old broken pieces. Break the pieces up into smaller pieces and sort the crayons with like colors. Place the crayon pieces into an old muffin tin. Put the tin into the oven and then turn the oven off. Watch the crayons so they don’t melt entirely. When the crayons have melted sufficiently, remove them from the oven and then place the tin into the freezer for half an hour. Take the tin out and then pop the new, larger crayons out.
Double Boiler: Another way to melt peeled crayons is over a double boiler. Use an old pan that you were going to throw away. Get a larger pot and place water in the pot to boil. Put the old pan into the water so it floats. Put the crayons into the upper pan and allow them to melt. You can then use a ladle or measuring cup to remove small amounts of wax. Dribble or paint the melted wax onto paper or into old candy molds. You can also dribble or pour melted wax on wet sand.
In 1903, Binney & Smith realized that if they made a few changes to the crayon they developed for marking crates, they could provide a less messy alternative to the crayons used in their public schools at that time. Binney & Smith tasked a chemist of their company to work at creating crayons that would be both non-toxic and easily mass produced. Binney & Smith were successful in the endeavor to create crayons that would work well for a young school children and soon the cousins were selling a box of eight crayons for about a nickel under the trade name of Crayola. The first box contained the colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, brown and black. Forty years later there was forty more colors added to the color pallette. By the seventies fluorescent colors were added to the line up which brought the number of colors available up to seventy-two.
I joined her in coloring, using the time to tune into her instead of against her. I found that I enjoyed coloring once again. It did its work on me also. Along with bonding with my child, I also relaxed and enjoyed the calming effect that coloring had on me.
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