Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Candlemaking - The Inevitable Spill

Crafting with soap and candles is a wonderful family activity. For this Container Candle experiment, my Dad and I took the opportunity to spend the morning crafting and laughing together.

I've mentioned my propensity to ruin the kitchen (here and here), much to my husband's bemused chagrin. This time, it was my Father that betrayed the sanctity of our otherwise clean kitchen.

As I was chattering away, wick centering and placing, my Dad helpfully pulled the hot wax off the stove and gingerly walked over to the table to gently pour the wax into the metal pouring pot. It was a particularly graceful arc of wax that flowed right over the cannister and directly onto the table, where it slowly started splattering on the floor.

Silence filled the room as we both looked at the wax, congealing on the hand-installed cherry wood floors. We both looked at each other sheepishly as the error of our ego and hubris set in; why hadn't we covered the table with newspaper?

My Dad is a doctor. He's been stitching people up for over 30 years now. One would assume that he would be able to easily pour with a steady hand. I pointed this out, in a gentle, loving respectful manner (of course). He sputtered back that the viscosity of melted beeswax is different than urine and blood, the two things he most commonly pours. There's really no rebuttal to that statement so I let him work in silence as I thought up funny ways to tell my husband of this latest mishap.

To clean your wax spill: Freeze the wax to make it easier to scrape.

Find a flat knife, such as putty knife or a baker's scraper cutter. This is my Dad, scraping away at the wax with one of my best cheese knives.

I have a video to post later tonight of my Dad scraping away at my table. The clean up was slow and tedious. It took approximately 30 minutes until the table was wax free (albeit with nice divots and holes where Dad gouged the wood).

To hide the dark wax stain, we decided to buff and wax the table with a commercial furniture polish. It comes in a yellow can and looks remarkably like Pam, the vegetable oil. After Dad and I finished buffing the table to a shine, we both looked at the bottle in my hands and realized one of us (finger pointed squarely at him!) grabbed the Pam bottle rather than the furniture wax bottle. So, we repeated the entire process - only this time with real furniture wax! My table has never been so moisturized!

We then covered the table with newspaper and started our container candle production line all over again.

Check back tomorrow for pouring and wick straightening tips!