Bees wax candles

The Candle-Maker’s Diary, Week 3

Greetings from quarantine–a space for reflection, rest, and more reflection. In last week’s blogette I said we would be discussing containers and wicks. However, describing–never mind reflecting on–containers can be accomplished in a few lines (actually, a lot more): 

With the exception of special-use candles like chakra or meditation candles, “container candles” are scented candles. They can be made of any non-porous, heat resistant substance such as cement, glazed terra cotta, thrift shop teacups, etc., but glass is the mainstream material for showcasing color and light penetration in fine waxes. In addition, containers provide a large melt pool, thus a large area for scent molecules to disperse into the air.  For my “Cherish the Bees” candles I looked long and hard for a glass container that was neither a jelly jar or a standard “quality” container made in maybe three usable shapes. I finally found a container made of recycled Spanish wine glass. I love how the “Bees” look in them, see pic.

As for wicks—in my view these humble players are the most important members of Team Candle. Wicks transport the fuel to the flame, drawing up hot oil the way a plant draws up water, to produce either a steady, drop-shaped, soot-free glow, or a sputtering disaster waiting to happen, depending on the size, material, and burning properties the candle maker has chosen. And how does the candle maker choose? By testing every possible pairing of wick and wax until the proper combination emerges. And then it’s a really good idea to write it down.

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