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2 Mottles With a Question


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Hello All! Giving layered mottles a try with 4045H...I am VERY happy with the one on the right(LS Hazelnut), however, the left one :undecided was poured in exactly the same way and formula as the other, just different FO(Peaks Sandalwood). I know different FO's mottle differently. My question is, Is it pretty much hit or miss with each FO? I want to achieve a mottle like the right candle everytime. Is there anything I can do or not do to get this mottle with every FO? Maybe add mineral oil as well?

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It's not entirely hit or miss but you might have to experiment a bit. With 4045H and stearic the mottling can be very sensitive to temperature and cooling rate, so I'd suggest focusing on that.

Sometimes pouring too hot and/or cooling too slow will get you a spotty freaky mottle like on the left. What temperature did you pour that middle layer? I'd guess 5 degrees lower might have worked better and definitely don't cover them or anything while they're cooling. Just keep them away from A/C and major drafts.

It's hard to diagnose this stuff for other people because it can be so unpredictable and everyone's variables are different, but this worked for me as well as a friend when we had similar problems.

The Hazelnut one looks great.

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Thanks for you response Top. I poured each layer on both candles at 180 degrees and let them sit open in a room to cool without any drafts. I'm using 3 tbs. Stearic to each candle(of 1.5 lbs of wax). Is this too much? Could that affect the look of the mottle? I'm repouring another candle I had the same problem with only I added 1 tbs. of mineral oil to see what happens, and poured at 175. I always thought the hotter you poured and slower you cooled, the more it mottles. Am I incorrect?

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Yeah 2 T per pound is about right, but stearic can definitely affect the mottle and sometimes small differences can have a visible effect. If you like to make this kind of candle I'd recommend weighing the stearic so you can figure out the amount that works for you and be consistent with it.

The common wisdom is that pouring hot and cooling slow increases the mottle. I've definitely proven to myself that it isn't necessarily true. It seems to be more complicated than that.

I would think 180 is a good temp but I know someone who gets great results with this wax at 175. Maybe that's the temperature your local UFOs prefer. Just don't pour the thin layers cooler or they might go rustic on you.

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Just thought I'd post a pic of the left candle repoured. Maybe this would be of interest to someone....Only difference in repour was 5 degrees less, 175. It's amazing what a difference 5 degrees can make. The one I repoured with mineral oil added actually mottled less. Almost not at all. Thanks Top! Off I go to experiment with the temps on my other mottle disasters.....

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Just thought I'd add my experience with mottles to this discussion.......

I have never, I repeat never, been able to get a decent mottle with brown dye!!! Not with liquid, not with chips, not with dye block. I have no idea why, and I'm sure there is no real scientific reason, but there has never been a good brown mottle in my house. I also tried the remelting thing, and sometimes it improved the look, but nothing that I would dare claim as my own!

Here is a sample of my brown mottle - and this is one of the better ones....... reminds me of something I only saw when my kids were babies :D

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flutterbye - thanks very much for posting that. I would have never thought 5 degrees could have made that much of a difference. Now I just have to make sure my thermometer is working right!

I got pretty decent mottles with 4045H and parol and mottling oil (http://www.candletech.com/forums/showthread.php?t=27520) though slightly different. Now I'm really wondering if I could get what you got on that first photo, left candle, just by adjusting pouring temps.

Out of all the pillar effects I've seen, my favorite is still at http://www.wicksnmore.com/merchant.ihtml?cid=1&step=2 . I just recently bought two more as they were on sale. Someone on this board said they may be extruded - but there is a seam on them - like if they were done in tin molds. And on the home page is does say "hand poured". Are these just mottles or really, is there something else going on with them? If you look at that square in the back here at http://www.wicksnmore.com/products.html - how in the heck do they get that formation right in the middle, but not on the ends of that bottom layer?

If I can ever make a mottle pillar like these for myself I would die happy!

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You're right Henry. The picture is WAY worse than the actual candle, although it is still horrendous!! For some unknown reason the mottles always look different with the browns, almost like starbursts, and not the cloudy mottles that I get with other colors. Like I said, it makes no sense to me, and I've just given up on making any brown candles.......

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  • 2 weeks later...

In reference to the candle on the left, it looks like some variation of "fingernailing". A lot of ppl don't like the look, but I do. Ya, I'm just a weird one that way. ;) It adds a certain amt of diminsion that I find appealing. I can never get that affect on purpose. If I could, I'd make a series of candles in different colors.

I have also noticed that I get less mottling w/ MO & more w/ FO.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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