January 30, 2011

Candle-Making Techniques

Candles, in one form or another, have been lighting man's progress through the ages.  The earliest records of candle-making and use dates back to 221 BC in China when candles were constructed of whale fat during the Qin Dynasty, however, earlier accounts claim the Egyptians used tallow prior to that time.  Romans were reported to be the first to use wicks.

Early American settlers made their candles in the fall when livestock was butchered to provide meat for the long and difficult winters.  Using rendered bits of "fat" (or suet) from the slaughter, their candles were made from the resulting "tallow", creating a very unpleasant smell when burned.  Tallow candles can still be made today, though the process is a bit tedious as shown here.

Beeswax candles have a slightly more pleasant scent than tallow, and they are one of the most natural, clean-burning types available. Sheets of beeswax are available at some craft stores, as well as many Internet stores. Beeswax candles are very easy to make as shown here at MyCraftBook.

Soy candles are made with the natural oil from soybean plants. They burn cleaner, giving off much less soot than paraffin or other wax candles. Cajun's Candle and Soap-making Supplies offers a tutorial with images for making soy candles, as well candle dyes, fragrance oils, candle molds, and free lessons.

White: truth, purity
Red: love, health, sex, strength
Green: money, luck, fertility
Black: discord, evil, negativity, confusion
Brown: neutrality, uncertainty, hesitation
Pink: love, morality, honor
Purple: power, business progress, ambition
Orange: attraction, stimulation
Gray: neutrality, stalemate, negativity
Light Blue: tranquility, patience, health
Dark Blue: depression, changeability

Imbolc is an excellent time to create a family tradition of making candles.

Candlewic is my top choice for all of my candle-making needs and supplies.  They offer a great selection at wholesale prices for waxes, gels, inserts, oils, colors, glassware, and books.
Inspired by her Native American roots and Bradbury lineage, Polly Taskey is a writer and grandmother in the northern USA.  She shares her wisdom and pagan interests through Pagan by Design and The Moonlit Grove.


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