Monday, May 3, 2010

Candles Too

I have been interested in candle making since I made my first basic candles as a kid. My Mom, a creative person herself, was a trooper to put up with my messy experiments. I enjoyed choosing the colors, fragrances and novelty shapes. I remember my favorite mold was for a frog candle. Burning candles that I made was quite a kick. My sister reminded me that she and Mom used to make ice candles using milk cartons and . . . tada . . . ice cubes.
I added candles to my soap, lotion and lip balm products in 2009. I offer a wide selection of candles and am working to expand my candle line. Here’s a little information about some of the candles I currently sell.

Gel Tarts: These little candles are in the shapes of mini pies. They smell divine, and, burn nicely for about 30 hours. They are about 3 ½ inches in diameter and an inch high. Right now they are available in apple, blueberry, cherry and pecan. They look and smell great as part of the décor and also produce nice fragrance and light while they are burning.

Wax Waffles: These 100% soy wax waffles are designed for melting in a warmer. You just break off one or two pieces, pop them in a tart warmer, and enjoy flameless fragrance. I love these on those days when I am running errands throughout the day and don’t want to risk leaving a candle burning while I’m gone. And in the heat of Iowa summers, it’s nice to have the fragrance with no added heat from the flame of a candle. Okay, maybe that’s a stretch – candles don’t put off that much heat, but there must be some psychological effect. I also sell the warmers in which to melt the wax waffles.

Soy Candles: I offer 100% soy candles in a variety of containers. Soy is wonderful to work with, and I like using natural soy rather than paraffin. But soy candle making presents some challenges. The biggest challenge is to produce a soy candle with a strong, lasting fragrance. For some reason, soy wax doesn’t hold the fragrance as well as paraffin candles do.

Pillar Candles: I'm working on some interesting pillar candles, but don't have any of those up for sale yet. I’ll keep working on them until I develop some that I like.

It's amazing the amount of time and effort it takes to test new candles. Want to be a candle tester? Just let me know. I always have some candles hanging around waiting to go through the testing process. Things that need tested include how the wick burns, how the candle looks as it burns, how the fragrance acts when the candle is sitting idle and also while it is burning. Also important are the height of the flame and the circumference and depth of the melted wax pool that is produced while the candle is burning.

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