The first step is to create the core of the candle. This is done by melting the hard wax and hand pouring it in a silicon mould which is left to cool for several hours.
One of the features of the core base wax is that as it cools it also shrinks which means that the master needs to top up the mould a number of times until the mould is full after it has cooled. This step can take up to two days because of the slow rate of wax shrinkage.
Next, the master needs to design the candle by deciding on a colour scheme and the style of the candle.
Because the candle is created from scratch it can be customised endlessly to meet the specific requirements of the order.
After that the fun begins!
The core is dipped into numerous layers of coloured wax to build up the appropriate thickness to allow for carving. Some candles require up to 40 different layers of wax, all dependent on the size and style of the candle that the master has in mind.
It is important to maintain a consistent temperature of the wax, and constant stirring of the wax is also necessary so the wax and the pigment of the dye don’t separate and lose colour intensity.
After every layer of wax the candle is soaked in water to fix the wax.
Once all the necessary layers are added and are still hot and soft, using special carving tools, various elements and ornaments are carved into the surface of the candle.
This is the most complex stage of the candle carving process since it requires great precision and attention to detail while being under a time constraint of only a few minutes while the wax is still warm and flexible.
It’s at this stage, too, that all the personalised information is added to the rapidly cooling wax, although of course the information concerned has been incorporated into the outline design at a much earlier stage.
As we’ve said elsewhere, this can include:
Finally, to add the beautiful shine to the candles they are dipped into a special glaze after which they are left to dry overnight.