Posts Tagged ‘scented candles’

Candles: A History in the Making

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

Candles have a deep history.  When you look at the history of the world it’s been relatively recent that candles have not been needed for lighting purposes.  The type of candle that resembles our modern-day candle was invented nearly 5,000 years ago! This article will peruse the history of candle making.

And so the history of candles breaks down into two time segments.  The first segment is before electricity. The second of course is after electricity.

Electricity is the time divider for candle history because electricity changed the purpose of candles forever.  Before electricity candles were made for utility. A candle’s function was to provide light, as archaic as that sounds. After electricity a candle’s function was superfluous.  In other words, candles were more for fun, than for vital use.

Let’s take a closer look at a candle’s role before electricity. For thousands of years candles lit people’s way and they were always made of some type of wax. But these functional candles were not all peaches n’ cream. Not at all in fact! Candles were first made out of animal fat extracts to make wax.  And all through the dark ages these archaic candles burned black smoke and must have smelled awful! Because of the black smoke that burned from these early candles, people’s walls within their homes were always covered with thick blackness.

candle making

Much later in Colonial America candle making turned to bees wax for production.  Bees wax burned purer than the animal fat candles of the past, but still was not ideal. A type of wax was needed that could burn both smokeless and odorless.

This all was leading up to the discovery of electricity in 1752 by Benjamin Franklin.  However, it wasn’t until Thomas Edison came along over 100 years later that the light bulb was invented to conduct electricity.  With these discoveries and technological advancements, electricity had a great purpose; finally homes would be lit without candles.

Unsurprisingly, with the technological advancements of electricity, the candle world was also evolving.  Around the same time as all of this new progress, people were inventing more efficient waxes for candle burning. Paraffin was invented at this time.  And since that time forth chemical engineers have continued to perfect waxes for candle making.

Now candle making has become recreational, since candles are not a necessity for seeing in the dark.  And with this new recreational role, candles have become a fun and exciting hobby, and/or business venture for people around the world. And with so many available products, people can candle make with ease in their own home, and without professional help.

Making Wax Candles

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

Candle making on your own is very rewarding.  You can give the candles away as gifts, sell them, or use them personally.  Although candle making is fun, you need a lot of supplies to do it correctly.

In candle making you can use fragrances or dyes.  You can mix different ones together to make a new fragrance or stick to one color or scent at a time.  You can either use the fragrance in the wax or on the wick.

There are several different kinds of wax that you can use.  Some have natural colors and fragrances.  Soy wax is great for scented candles.  Paraffin wax is commonly used and comes from refining petroleum.

Using molds in candle making can kick up the creativity.  Beginners should try to stick to simple molds.  There are all kinds of shapes and sizes.  You can buy these molds at most craft stores or you can make your own.

candle making

If using molds intimidates you, try using jars.  They are much more simple, but just as beautiful.  You can use different shapes or sizes to help beautify your candle.

You will need something like a double broiler to melt your candle wax into.  Just get a really big metal pot and put a coffee can in the middle of the pan.  Fill some water in the pot, but don’t let it over flow into the coffee can.  Make sure that you stir the melting wax constantly so that it does not burn.

The temperature of the wax is very important.  You will need a candy thermometer to monitor the wax’s temperature.  At 185 degrees you can add your dye or fragrance.  At 135 degrees you can pour it into a mold.

When you are candle making, you need to make sure you are safe.  Keep children and pets out of the melting work area.  Always have a fire extinguisher on hand incase you over heat your wax and catch it on fire.