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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a!
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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Pouring Candles

Today some mold release that I ordered from Brushy Mountain and a candle mold arrived on my doorstep. I was so excited that I had to try it out right away.

I was planning to melt wax tonight anyway since I'm trying to get a good wax block to take to the Ga Beekeeping Association Honey Contest. Keith Fielder, a Master Beekeeper - one of the few in Georgia, wrote me with some helpful hints so I poured this block using his hints - but he made me promise to keep his secrets, so I am not sharing them here.

Suffice it to say, my first effort was almost good enough and the second effort is solidifying in the oven as we speak. However it turns out, I will enter it in the show, if only to be able to thank Keith through my actions (using his methods to try for a good block).

I melted last year's wax block to make candles. Threading the wicks made me want to SCREAM. My wicks have been waxed (ie, I dipped the wick in melted wax) and that made it a little easier to thread them through the holes and the length of the mold. However, I couldn't get the wick to go through two of the holes - so I didn't make candles in those mold sections.


After threading the wicks into the molds, I tied them to bamboo skewers to hold the wick in the center of the candle while the liquid wax was being poured.

The directions that came with the mold said to put a wet sponge in the freezer to get it really cold and to set the mold on top of the frozen sponge. Thus when the hot wax leaks out of the tip of the candle which is against the sponge, the tip of the candle will quickly solidify! Who knew?

It was a messy process as you can see above. As the candles cooled, they shrank, leaving a concave space on each candle. I remembered from taking class with Virginia Webb that sometimes you have to go back and fill that area with wax, so I remelted some wax and did exactly that - see the picture below.

I don't think these candles will go to Ga Beekeeping meeting with me, but I am taking the wax block, my honey, my cut comb honey, my chunk honey, and I believe that will be all. It's a little silly for me to enter a state level contest, but I figure why not make the effort since I am going to be up there anyway and my honey is still bottled in good shape from the Metro contest.
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6 comments:

  1. I love making candles with beeswax, though I'm not lucky enough to have my own hives. I have found, over the years, that it's really easier to use the silicone molds vs the metal ones. I ordered a bunch from the Mann Lake catalog, and while they're good, they're incredibly heavy. I think that the more flexible rubber kind I bought off of eBay are even easier. Here's a (bad) picture of one version that I made from a mold I bought off eBay.

    fan.eclectic-circle.net/Other/Pics/vine-pillar-candle-sm.jpg

    That said, I can't wait to see how yours turn out! I love the idea of the tapers, and can't wait to see how yours do!

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  2. Annette9:45 PM

    Yes, I just love the silicone molds from Mann Lake. The candles just pop out so easy.

    Also Linda I have a wicking needle (just for candle making) that makes it really easy to thread into the candles. If you are interested just e mail me.

    Sincerely
    Annette from Placerville California

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Enjoying your site as always.

    I have attempted beeswax candles a number of times and they usually crack. I know I need to slow down the cooling time. I'm curious to see how yours turn out and tips you might have.

    Thanks,
    Cassandra

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  5. I think beeswax candles are great. I have not used beeswax in my silicone molds. Will have to try one of these days.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous12:48 PM

    Linda,
    Wonderful blog! I have 6 hives and am just getting into the hobby. Would like to try making candles with the kids. Could you advise, do I need to use the silicon spray to facilitate getting candle out of the mold? We are trying to go as natural as possible.

    Do you have any tips for cleaning the molds? Just hot water perhaps?

    Thanks,
    Scott
    Colorado

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