Damar resin is a very people and earth friendly ingredient. Damar resin is harvested from trees in Malaysia and these trees are slashed yearly to ooze sap for harvesting. These trees are not damaged from this process and it is very similar to the tapping of maple trees for syrup. As the sap dries and solidifies it captures insects, dried leaves, and tree bark so when damar resin arrives to us in its crystal form (as seen in the picture above) all of these imbedded impurities must be removed. These impurities are heat filtered out to make a usable product. Damar resin is a main ingredient in our encaustic paint. Enkaustikos uses damar resin to produce a harder and more durable paint film. Damar in combination with beeswax produces a paint film with a higher index of refraction and this is why encaustic colors appear so luminous. Unlike damar varnish, damar resin is a safe product to work with. The FDA has even approved the use of damar resin to coat the boxes carting fruits and vegetables. Many corrugated produce boxes found in your nearby supermarkets have been coated with damar resin to protect the cardboard from moisture. Many encaustic recipes incorrectly suggest that an artist should use damar varnish. This is not a good idea because damar varnish is made with turpentine. We would like to emphasize that our wax paints are made with damar resin and not damar varnish. We heat filter out the impurities without the use of solvents. We do not recommend working with damar varnish because it contains turpentine which is not only flammable but also gives off unhealthy fumes.