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Candle Making � An Ancient Technique That Is Now A Homegrown Hobby
Candles have been used throughout human history to make light at night times. Though we use electrical lights now, people still keep candles for emergencies. Scented candles are lit or used as decoration, and some use candle for meditation or prayer as the peaceful, natural light often brings a spiritual feeling. In ancient times and candles would be used as timekeepers, and also in recent history in the coal mining industry.
Candles are made from wax and have a wick usually made from string. The wick is lit and draws the wax up. Many people make their own candle for personal use or for sale, and the process is relatively simple. People have been making candles as far back as the ancient Egyptians, and the materials used have changed a lot. Early candles used fish oils, insects and seeds to make the wax, and cultures all over the world have different methods of adding perfume.
Firstly a candle maker needs to melt wax. In modern times the wax is usually made from tallow, which is fat from cows or sheep, though in the past other materials have been used. The wax will liquefy at high temperatures but it must be monitored carefully as it will produce highly flammable vapours at temperatures around 300F.
Moulds can be purchased with which to make the candles. These usually have a hole through which the wick is fed. The mould is turned upside down and the other end of the wick is tied to something such as a skewer. This is to keep it vertical so that it will run from one end of the candle to the other straight down the middle. The holes in the mould are sealed with special putty or metal tape, and the wax is poured in. As the wax dries it will shrink, so holes must be made in it to allow it to shrink without trapping air. These holes are filled in later with more wax.
These home made candles are often put into glass containers and become a centrepiece for a display or mood lighting for a special occasion.
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