Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Beeswax Candle

Bayberry candles are one of my all time favorite things in the whole wide world.    I love them.   I also love beeswax candles.   I love how they smell when they're burning.  

I saved all our extra wax from last year and melted it down into a block so I could make candles with our own wax from our own bees.   Since I wanted really special candles, I got a pound of bayberry wax from betterbee.com to add to them.

Actually, I wanted to render my own bayberry wax -[You get the bayberry wax by boiling  bayberries.  The wax coating melts off and floats.  When it cools, it becomes hard like any other wax].  - so I spent days and days searching for a source for bulk bayberries by the pound.    No go.   If you ever find a source, let me know.     In the meantime, I may have to plant some bushes here.  We'll see.

I save my old candle jars for just this purpose, so I taped a wick to the bottom of the jar so it wouldn't wiggle and then wrapped it around a pencil that I laid across the top.  [I used the zinc core wicking for this candle - still experimenting with different wicks]  When the candle was cool, I cut it at the length I wanted. 

Traditionally, bayberry candles were made from half bayberry wax and half beeswax.  So that's what I did.    In a double boiler unit, I melted a hunk of beeswax and a hunk of bayberry together.   When they were all hot and melted, I poured it into the candle jar. 

To prevent the wax from heaving as it cooled, I turned off the burner under the hot water in the pan and set the candle jar right in the water and let it all cool overnight.   Worked like a charm.

Our wax is screaming yellow and bayberry wax is a gray green/olive color.   The two together make this nice yellow green.

It smells divine. 

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