24 November 2012

a single candle

Jar Candle
Tea lights and jar candle, made with soy wax
Candle flames are hypnotic. It's easy to sit and stare at the way the fire flickers, watching the heat and movement, following the colours of pale orange and red down to the tiniest trace of clear pure blue.

On dark afternoons, I sometimes light all the tea-lights in the varied holders I have, and let the flames provide warmth that the wall heater simply can't. 

The lights, the way they move, is peaceful, which has always seemed strange to me, given the damage that fire can cause. But beauty and danger have never been exclusive concepts. Nor has peace in the midst of chaos. My tendency to find some sort of beauty or peace out of something that is potentially harmful is not unique. Danger does not exclude beauty, nor does a sense of danger exclude some sort of peaceful transcendence.

With this in mind, I made candles out of soy wax yesterday evening. I read somewhere that paraffin candles release fumes into the air that we're better off not breathing. Since I breathe enough noxious fumes just walking down the street, I thought I'd minimize the ones in my home. Beeswax costs more, and it seemed better to figure out the technique with the less expensive option.

The pictures above include some of the first batch. I made a total of 25 tea lights and one larger candle. These are all unscented and undyed. The batches tomorrow will have scent and colour, and will be Christmas gifts. The basic process is easy enough. Heat, pour, let cool. The large candle managed to crack a bit in the centre, but it's in a jar, and the cracks will disappear as it burns. I'm not a perfectionist. Beauty that is less than perfect is, often, in my mind, even more beautiful.

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