I’ve been learning a lot in my creative adventures about different materials. Last February, I was inspired to make candles by creating a mold using my 3D printer. After doing some prototyping, I was up and running in the (chrism!) candle business.
I purposely designed my candles to be pillar style candles that wouldn’t completely burn because of the image on the outside. If attended during the burning process, the candle should be lit from within to make the art on the outside glow… but that’s when I realized that I had NO experience “carefully attending” any burning candle. I was a White Barn/Yankee candle glass jar candle girl who was very (very, very) low maintenance. Thank goodness for me, I married a former altar server who understands and appreciates what it takes to maintain a candle properly.
[Total aside, did you know those metal things on the tops of the candles at church are called “chasers” and are designed to do exactly what I’m about to describe with relatively little maintenance? Former altar servers. They learned *so* much…]
For those of you who are like me, I took some pictures about how to roll the candles in during the burning process to prevent tunneling and allow for the maximum beeswax burn and thus burn time.
The candle pictured above has been rolled after every burn. Essentially, you just take the warm wax and push the wax down into the burning area. Carefully. Wax is hot. (I don’t doubt you knew that. I say these things because I have a 2.5 year old son.)
The candle pictured above here is tunneling. After the initial burn, it wasn’t rolled in. If allowed to continue to burn like that, it will create a very narrow tunnel to the bottom, leaving a lot of unused beeswax and wavering all over the path of the pillar.
To begin to roll a candle, trim the wick before lighting to 1/4 inch. Allow the candle to burn for at least one hour during ever burning session.
I am impatient. It’s a weakness I really must work on and I know it. Rolling a candle in while it’s lit is dangerous. You can easily burn yourself. I have burned myself. These pictures are a testament to how many prayers I could use to overcome my own headstrong nature (read: stubbornness) and impatience.
My own character flaws aside, you can see that you can use your thumb to push the warmed but not melted wax into the pool of melted wax. The wax that has lightened a few shades is warm enough to be shaped.
I let mine burn for a little bit after I shaped the wax and then extinguished them. You can see below that both candles are burning almost completely, except for a narrow band of solid wax on the outside. Leaving that narrow band will keep the art outside preserved and the melted wax from pouring out all over the surface the candle is sitting on.
Hopefully this will help you get maximum life out of your Salem Studio candles.
A special thanks to my husband and best friend for teaching me all the things that they learned as altar servers. 😉