I’m pretty pleased with how these turned out, though the stone cairns need a bit of work to be more realistic. My favourite are the red avocadoes at the back. I experimented with adding different amounts of dye to see what their effects would be.
I melted the wax in a little tin on our rocket stove, while Paula cooked dinner. I try to do my candle making when we have the rocket stove going, so that I can use waste fuel rather than use gas.
Then I poured it into a plastic container to cool. At least, I did until I inadvertently poured in a particularly hot batch of wax, which melted the container and resulted in wax all over the ground. Bugger. After that I use a ceramic bowl instead. Once the wax had cooled to the point it was starting to form a skin, I poured it into the latex moulds, which were propped into a tray of walnuts to hold them up:
If you look carefully at the candles you’ll see some of them have walnut-shaped indentations on them. Once I wised up to this, I took the moulds out of the tray while the wax was still pliable and smoothed them a bit in my hands. It would probably be better to use a tray of sand or something softer, but the walnuts were hanging around and I couldn’t be bothered to set up anything better.
In the photo below you can see my plastic container of hot wax, the largest stone mould and one of the avocado moulds filled with wax, not yet fully set, and a few avocadoes that I’d just turned out of their moulds.
I had a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon. I’ll be interested to see how long the candles last. Jo’s candles of a similar size are advertised as having 150 burning hours. If that’s true of mine, then I might finally have a way of meeting my family’s candle needs. I’ve been making tapers for a couple of years but haven’t been able to keep up with the quantity we get through. Maybe with this method…?