A candlemaking workshop: Sponsored by All Seasons Wax Company
Sponsored by All Seasons Wax Company and hosted by Leonie O’Brien from Pretty Frank at the Madean Centre Liverpool, New South Wales
Friday, July 15th 2019, was a fantastic day for the wonderful woman (and one wee lad!) who came along for a morning of learning all about candle making.
First things first, this workshop had attendees who are involved with both the Western Sydney Migrant Resource Centre and from the Mandaean Centre who were all looking to build their skills and indulging their love of candles!
They were in good hands with me and we were all very happy to be working with S16 Deluxe Soy wax, kindly provided by All Seasons Wax Company. It’s the perfect wax for beginners and experienced professionals who are looking for a reliable product to work with.
I chose white and black glassware for the day so everyone could choose something that would suit their decor at home. Everyone attending was going to make one votive and one large-sized candle over the morning.
To keep things moving, and so we didn’t need to keep writing notes as we went along, I put together a bit of a cheat sheet, with some simple steps on prepping your glass, doing maths for fragrance loading percentages and combining the wax and fragrance.
The classic paddle-pop stick and peg method is a reliable go-to for wick centring.
“We love to work with local small businesses. Running workshops like this enriches the lives of attendees and support the social cohesion of Western Sydney Community. It’s all about learning new skills, providing more social networking in person and empowering the women we work with”
Nadia Bouchti, Western Sydney Migrant Centre
Our next step was to work our way through the concept of fragrance loading. This is the percentage of fragrance oil we use with the wax. For these candles, we used 8% loading which is a great starting point.
One of the important concepts we learned about was how to measure fragrance. The weight of fragrance oils varies between types, so we must measure by weight and not volume. This is made a little easier with the snazzy scales by All Seasons Wax Company. Remember to tare back to zero for less maths!
The maths breakdown was typed up and printed for everyone, so we just had to follow along and measure the right components for perfect candles all around!
Everyone taking part chose a fragrance to use and measured it out into their jug so they’d have enough for both candles.
Next, we warmed up each jug to help break down any crystals in the fragrance and prevent discolouration for fragrances with vanillin.
Once everyone had their fragrance sorted, we started melting wax the old school way - with the double boiler method! This method is excellent for beginners as you can keep on the temperature as it slowly rises.
We also talked about why using microwave isn’t recommended (it’s not as consistent because the heat hits the wax in “waves” and gentle like with the double-boiler).
Here is Majda keeping an eye on the wax and keeping it moving so we could get the wax melted as quickly as possible. The flakes of the S16 Deluxe Soy make it easy to measure out and melt it down to liquid.
We all filled our jugs with the wax, using the scales again to get the loading % perfect. Pour slowly and surely, with an eye on the numbers to make sure you get the right amount.
Once the wax had cooled, everyone poured their own candles and left them to set in the cool temperatures.
The morning went surprisingly quickly, though we did make a lot of candles!
“Spending time with people in the community and sharing these skills has been so rewarding. This is a lovely group of women, who came armed with so many questions and a real thirst for knowledge. I’ve loved sharing some info and skills, and maybe we’ll see a brand new candlemaking business come from this! When small businesses come together and support each other, we can enrich lives and empower people everywhere.”
Leonie O’Brien, Pretty Frank
A special thanks to Nadia from the Western Sydney Migrant Resource Centre for bringing this together and to Renee from All Seasons Wax Company for going above and beyond with sponsorship to make this morning happen.