When Shaun and I first fell in love with candle-making it was a love of borderless dimension, involving every aspect of the craft from materials to history to presentation. Though it’s wonderful to remember the early days of our obsession, I should note as well that the path from conception to execution is littered with wonky-looking candles. Some of these instructive not-ready-for-prime-time creations include eggs of wobbly gel, pillars of melty container wax, or set in beakers of water, apples with ill-fitting tops and bottoms; and a hairy silicone mold made from a ball of twine. As I might have mentioned before, experimentation to me is at the very heart of learning. And that also includes learning what not to attempt.
Take molds, for example. I once had visions of making candles out of anything that was hollow, from antique glassware to PVC pipe, to holes in a bucket of sand. That was until reviewing the sixteen-plus steps for execution, plus a partial equipment list: wax, dye, fragrance, wick, mold, mold sealer, mold release, thermometer, scale, water bath, paring knife, cooling rack, et cetera. I realized quickly that it would take the better part of an afternoon to produce three or four, and a lot of post-production fiddling to make them fit to display. The problem was easily resolved: Call in the professionals!
Thus I chose to showcase the work of candle-making impresario Vance Kitira’s team. Kitira spent twenty years in various businesses in the US, packed up everything he learned, and founded a candle factory in his native Thailand. With a minimum of automation, the factory provides work for numerous folks in his home village and beyond. Every $50 in purchase money goes to re-planting the rainforest, one tree at a time. We are happy to have his candles in our Main Street store, see pic.