Natural lighting is a beautiful, multisensory experience. Large and small windows let the sunlight shine in and light our indoor spaces on sunny days, curtains shade when the brightness is directly in our eyes, but when night time falls we are back on the grid to illuminate the hours till we go to bed.
Candlelight is a glowing option to relax by, but we must do it responsibly. The dangers of scented candles not only lurk in their paraffin wax and synthetic fragrances, but in their wicks as well. With a dip of self-reliance you can spin your own wick and dabble in the work of the bees.
Prepare to spin your own wick and gather the materials for candle making:
- collect wick material – long fibers such as hemp or flax
- purchase organic beeswax pellets (or save your own from honeycomb)
- harvest branches
- find candle holders perfect for the project
- dedicate a tall pot for melting wax and candle dipping
- couple of glass jars to hang the candles while dipping
Start with long, rough flax and twist the fibers with your fingers to your desired thickness (based on trial and error and the size of candle you wish to end up with) and wind them around a stick, branch or knitting needle. It is okay to be “primitive”, candle making is an art, not a science. Let the spun wick sit for a week to set the twist.
Decide if it will be a single or braided wick and tie it onto a branch, long enough for dipping into the hot beeswax – properly heated in a double boiler. In general, the thicker the wick, the faster the candle will burn and with a greater luminosity as well. Make candles of various wick thicknesses for interesting light effects when lit in mass.
Dip the wick into the hot beeswax, taking breaks as you go to allow the candle to slightly cool. Check your work for straightness, pinching off the excess wax that collects at the base. Intuition will tell you when you are too fast or too slow, your fingers will know when the wax is too hot.
Two at a time will make the dipping enjoyable and you will end up with a pair to burn at once. Keep layering the beeswax until you end up with your desired size and shape candle…
Light your work to illuminate the possibility of non-toxic homemade candles, no borax required for the wicks, it is really as simple as wax and flax.
Spin your own wick and wallow in the ambiance of an old kind of night light, suitable for enjoying at all ages.
Go lightly into the new non-toxic year!