Abstract Painted Candles by Jojo T
Rating: Intermediate to hard (for paraffin)
a straight sided candle already made to bring to the class i.e. made in a square or rectangle mold - preferably white for learning on
a gas torch of some kind - the small ones work fine - preferably with an on switch which doesn't need to be held down as fingers get tired
some shaved wax dye chips in colours of their choice - not liquid dye
a stanley blade or sharp knife
a sheet or two of baking paper
a small amount (about 1 inch square) of aluminium foil to wrap around the wick
hair tired back, up, in a knot, beret or scarfe, or shaved off as it is very easy to burn it
a jug of cool water in case they burn their fingers and want to cool them down quickly.
The first step is to shave your wax dye and then sprinkle some of the shavings onto one side of your candle. Then light up that torch and we're ready to go. I've included a pic of how low to have your flame - no higher than the pic, and lower if you prefer.
Now all you have to do is to use light swift strokes to gently melt the shavings. Don't be too fussy at this point in making it look anything spectacular as we shall be going over it all again later. We just want the flame to lick the shavings otherwise too much of the candle will melt in the process.
Once you have melted the shavings, wait a minute or two for the wax to harden, then turn your candle over to start on the next side. Lay your shavings onto the candle - you can be creative in positioning them or just do them all over the place. Then start melting with the torch again.
If you get a spot where you feel there is just too much wax dye, you can scrape it off with the blade if it is set, or blot it off with a paper towel if it is at the melted stage. Then torch it again to smooth it out.
If you find there is a buildup of melted wax on the side and you don't want it to run down the previous side of the candle, you can hold a paper towel to the side of the candle to catch the runs.
Once you have all four sides of the candle done, then it's time to go back to the first side and start melting again. This time you will be able to get the colours to blend into each other until you get to a point where you are happy with the result. Sometimes this may need to be done three times - don't spend too much time on each side as then the candle underneath will start to melt away too much.
Now, stand the candle up and we can get started on the top. Fold your piece of aluminium foil over and around the wick so it doesn't catch alight. Then sprinkle the shavings on top and very gently - not too close to the wick - start melting again.
When you're happy with the result, take the foil off the wick. I sometimes use a muffin tin so that I can melt closer to the wick - be aware that the tin can get quite hot when the torch heats it though.
When the candle is finished it will have a matt finish. If you want to polish it to get some shine, dip a paper towel into some water and rub the candle with it.
Afterwards blot any drops of water with a dry paper towel.
(Grab photos on post 11)
You may need to level the bottom of the candle if there are any drips of wax dye - this could be done with the blade, or just level it off in the usual way.