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Candle Making :: Inspiring Creativity

by Folksy Support

Written by Amy McCarthy

votive candle

Once this weeks craft was so necessary to life in Britain there were laws passed to ensure the quality of the product, but that was before electricity; when every village had a chandler. Now we dont need candles any more, but we still love them! So now the nights are drawing in and we are spending more time cosy and warm indoors lets get inspired by two of Folksy’s most fabulous candle makers, who let us into their world and throw some light (sorry how could I resist?) on how to make candles and the highs and lows of the chandlers craft.

Right, so what do you need to get started and how does one go about making a candle?

The simplest candles are very easy to make (I say this from experience, I enjoy a bit of candle making myself). Simply melt your chosen type of wax, pour into a mould and add a weighted wick into the centre of the mold and leave to set. The basic equipment you need includes a way of melting the wax (ideally a double boiler), wicks, molds and scents. However, this most basic process is just the tip of the creative ice berg and sourcing unusual molds, colours and making your own scents are the real creative skills needed by our Folksy chandlers whose unusual molds and excellent scents are where they work their magic.

Onespampershop‘s Maryann explained, ” I start by sourcing or creating molds, scents, waxes and wicks – You certainly need a keen eye for the next big seller and a good nose for a nice scent. Just because it smells good in the bottle doesnt mean it will smell good in the candle. Then I start creating the candles – at first just to test ! Once I am truley happy with each type of candle I will then list them for sale. I mainly work with paraffin wax but have recently started to produce soy candles too”

Mr Wicks candle

Mr Wick’s Katie has a different emphisis, starting with a unique container and working from there, “To make the quirkiness of my candles means I have to find some way of producing candles in an exciting and interesting way. By this I have to shop about in antique shops and carboots to find amazing rare retro and vintage containers suitable. When I have the container I tend to experiment and develop unique colour and scent by mixing and matching!”

So where do they get the inspiration for their creations?

wedding votive candles

Maryann gets hers from the personal service of her work, “I can be inspired by anything and everything; but mainly my customers, I have had some very strange requests over the years, the biggest probably a 3 foot candle!”

Katie is inspiration comes from the challenge of making interesting objects, “I’d say independent shop and boutiques inspire me lots as I think my candles fit in most home-ware ones a treat! In an odd way.. I get ideas from boring candles, as it makes me want to revamp all of them!!! Hah”

So what are the highs and lows of chandlery?

Both of our candle makers are most rewarded by the effect their products have on the customers. Katie says, “I think my candles suit a wide range of people, which I think’s the most rewarding bit about them, knowing I’ve got a candle for everybody!”

Maryann loves the feedback from happy customers, “Its nice to know you have been a part of someones big day, made them smile or just helped them relax”

Mixed-Flavoured-Ice-Cream-Sunday candle

Katie is most challenged by her unusual containers, whereas Maryann finds the uncertainty of the outcome the biggest challenge, ” …as with any handmade goods you are always wondering if they are good enough; if you could have done better and most of all – will people like them?”

Fancy a go? Where did our Folksy sellers learn their craft and where can we have a go?

Maryann has been making candles since she was a child, “I started when I was 13. My nan bought me a candlemaking kit and I was hooked! Being self taught there has been alot of trial and error until I got to a point where I thought, hey these are good enough to sell.

Katie is also self taught and explains, “I haven’t properly learnt how to candle-make, it was just an idea that once popped to my head, and wondered why nobody had done it before! I then read about it on the internet. I’ve only really being doing my candles for about a year, so it’s all down to experimenting and practicing for me.

Want to be as good as Katie in a year? Well both makers recommend websites and starter kits. This website has lots of advice and kits to get you started http://www.candlemakingsupplies.co.uk/and there are many books about how to make them.

There are also workshops run aroxo tin candleound the country by makers, search th”e internet for your nearest, or go to one of Katies, she says, “I’ve hosted two workshops at an adorable place in Birmingham called COW(creative open workshop). This gave people an opportunity to meet me and make themselves a candle like Mr Wick’s” http://www.creativeopenworkshops.com

Both our Chandlers enthusiastically urge you to have a go and I have to agree, I have spent many a happy hour covered in wax and smelling of lovely scents! Click on the highlighted shop links, or photos to browse the sellers shops and get inspired by their wonderful creations.

More about the author of this article –

Amy McCarthy is a glass artist and recycled mixed media artist working from a small studio in Devon. Amy’s Folksy shop sells beautiful traditionally made leaded gift panels, funky mobiles and suncatchers. Her work often includes recycled glass, found objects and acid etching. There is more than a whiff of the seaside to her work and much is inspired by the Devon coast and moors around where she lives.   website, facebook or her blog.

Amy currently has a competition running to win one of her magnificent glass panels – check her facebook page for more details.

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Samuel Sparrow September 14, 2010 - 9:34 am

Great Post!
It’s nice to hear from some crafters who truely love what they do.

Valerie's Essentials September 14, 2010 - 4:27 pm

I don’t know it first comment posted…

But Samuel beat me to it. I LOVE reading, following and all of those who have the passion of creating candles like me!

Francine Schokker September 14, 2010 - 9:59 pm

I love the interview style of these posts… gives the article so much more character! The creatives bring the craft alive! :)

Marketing Strategy April 17, 2014 - 3:31 am

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what I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to everything.
Do you have any helpful hints for newbie blog writers?
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Comments are closed.