Greetings from quarantine—a time for contemplation, evaluation, and, well, more contemplation. We are now sliding into summer, a season not notable for brisk sales where candles are concerned. At our store we filled the summer shelves with locally-sourced potions and lotions for the season’s inconveniences: bug repellant, sunscreen, organic deodorant, hand cream, foot cream, itch cream, pain cream, poison ivy soap—even dog wash. But candles? Only the perennial citronella comes to mind, and that is more effective worn than burned.
So to summer and life outside our respective caves: If ever there was a time to consider lighting up the night with a candle’s sweet glow, it is certainly the present season of quarantine that has vacuumed up the social babble and left us stranded with ourselves and each other. However, we can use light to span the social distance. Think of the many cultures whose traditions give honor to light—even those of peoples separated by thousands of miles who never had contact with each other that we know of.
There are a few outdoor candles on my mental drawing board: luminarias, made of hard transparent wax shells into which soft scented wax is poured; so-called “hurricanes”–beautiful to look at but devilishly hard to make, involving an outer shell into which non-flammable decorative elements are embedded, surrounding a replaceable inner candle. I see them either as special-order items or a candle-maker’s rainy day project. Finally, a plain unscented table candle for outdoor dining: a simple glass bowl, filled with fine wax and perhaps a crackling wooden wick: a “golden dinner bowl”, see pic.