Tag Archives: Beeswax

Day 6 – 12 days of Designer Christmas Beeswax Candles

Chandler, Jill Smith, starts her candle making process with 45-pound blocks of pure 100% beeswax that she sources from a single supplier in Alberta. These blocks arrive on a palette, delivered by truck to her Salt Spring Island driveway. She explained that it is quite a sight to see this load waiting for her to act.

The Key to My Heart #Beeswax #Candles @Beeswaxworks

A bit like a boxer and their punching bag, breaking these solid blocks of wax into manageable pieces does wonders for stress release. Jill then takes the smaller pieces and melts the wax to the correct temperature before pouring the molten liquid into her custom moulds.

Simple Fern #Beeswax #Candles @Beeswaxworks

There are three of her signature series candles available on Atelier: Key to my Heart, Simple Fern and Vintage Bee. These beautiful candles burn a clean, natural, sweet smelling smoke. Here are five reasons to buy a beeswax candle. 

Vintage Bee Beeswax Candles @Beeswaxworks

Consider natural beeswax candles as perfect holiday gifts and unique hostess presents. Fill someone’s stocking with a sweetly scented Vintage Bee, Simple Fern or Key to My Heart candle.

Or, create an artistic home decor combination package and include a hardwood serving board and linen tea towels, both made on Bowen Island near Vancouver.

Read more about the artisan craft of chandlery here.

Pin this image to your handcrafted, home decor board.

Beeswax candles made from pure wax for wonderful holiday light.

Tis the Season Five Reasons to Buy a Beeswax Candle

At this time of year, careless flip-flop days and intense summer skies seem hopelessly far away… At least, December’s twinkling holiday lights have replaced the gloomy darkness of November evenings.

Impossibly short days are the perfect time to gather friends around a dinner table for long conversations fuelled by hearty red wine and slow cooked savoury meals.

#Beeswax #Candles @Beeswaxworks blog post

However, table setting is part of establishing the mood. Wine does not taste the same from a plastic glass, and an overly lit table can feel like a cafeteria. We turned to artisan creator Jill Smith at Bees Wax Works to share her five reasons to buy a beeswax candle for the holidays.

  1. Dark days bring the need for warm light.  Beeswax burns in the light spectrum of the sun. If summer seems far away, the light aura from these artisan candles will remind you of those days.
  2. The natural smell of beeswax – a reminder of the heavenly smell of warmer days spent outside – in the comfort of your living room.
  3. Innocent times with the tradition of beeswax candles at holiday times. The aroma is a trigger for many.  Especially for my European customers, the smell evokes childhood memories of a time when candles were hand-dipped by mums and grandmas.
  4. Beauty and simplicity in an effortless gift.
  5. Warmth: Brisk outdoor activities and quieter nights – beeswax candles bring an authentic heating to our indoor season.

Jill’s beeswax candles are handcrafted in her Salt Spring Island workshop, a place that she describes as “The best smelling garage on Salt Spring Island, with lovely windows and views of the Salish Sea.” The candles are made from blocks of 45-pound blocks of 100% Canadian beeswax (sourced in Alberta).

Beeswax Works candles are crafted following traditional methodologies (read about the art of chandlery). Jill describes the steps as easy enough, however, after wax patience is a critical ingredient in the process.

Warm up your winter days with one of these candles from the Beeswax Works custom collection:

Key to My Heart:

The Key to My Heart #Beeswax #Candles @Beeswaxworks

Simple Fern:

Simple Fern #Beeswax #Candles @Beeswaxworks

Vintage Bee:

Vintage Bee #Beeswax #Candles @Beeswaxworks

Image credits: Candle photos provided by and published with the permission of Jill Smith @ Bees Wax Works

Understanding the Art and Craft of Chandlery and all that Beeswax

Medieval Craft of Chandlery

 

The advent of residential electricity changed our lighting needs dramatically and eliminated a once critical position in the medieval household – the Chandler – the person responsible for the candles. Click here for a detailed description.

Next time you strike a match to light the candles on your dinner table consider what it takes to make a candle.

#Beeswax #Candles @Beeswaxworks blog post

According to Jill Smith, the owner of Salt Spring Island’s Bees Wax Works, the key ingredient in chandlery (besides the obvious: wax) is patience and more patience. Smith is a former ballet dancer and music industry professional who describes her career change as an “Opportunity to work independently, make things and grow a business.”

#Beeswax #Candles @Beeswaxworks blog post

Becoming a chandler

Smith apprenticed under the company’s previous owner before she assumed the full responsibilities of Bees Wax Works. Although candle making was a learning curve, Jill Smith says “Making things with my hands has always been a part of my life. My mother taught me fibre arts at a young age and we were encouraged to ‘make things’.”

Did you ever “make” candles as a kid, by melting paraffin and pouring the molten liquid into milk containers? If so, the work that Smith does in her workshop is another world. She describes her studio as

“The best smelling garage on Salt Spring Island, with lovely windows and views of the Salish Sea.”

Process from raw wax to candles

There is a process to transforming a 45-pound block of beeswax into beautiful, clean-burning candles. The work requires smashing (she says this step is therapeutic), heating and reforming. According to Smith, chandlery steps are simple, and the tools rudimentary (a melting pot, simple hand tools, and steady hands). However, the age-old craft requires enormous amounts of patience.

#Beeswax #Candles @Beeswaxworks blog post

Smith chooses to work with beeswax exclusively.

“It is pure and simply the best wax for candles.”

However, not all beeswax is created equally. Smith sources her wax from apiarists in Alberta. A family who have been beekeepers for three generations because their wax is the cleanest she has found.

Did you know beeswax changes colours with the seasons, depending which flowers are blooming?

Simple Fern #Beeswax #Candles @Beeswaxworks

At Atelier, we are thrilled to feature some of the Bees Wax Works signature BWW Collection candles. The new line of candles required Smith’s close collaboration with a ceramist.  Together they developed moulds that reflect the art of candle making. This collection mirrors the “hive to home” philosophy at Bees Wax Works.

Made with high-quality wax and the steady hand of a professional chandler these contemporary candles are perfect for gifts (or for your home) check out the collection here.

Image credits: Photos provided by and published with the permission of Jill Smith @ Bees Wax Works

5 Reasons Why to Choose Beeswax Candles over Paraffin

Most of us would admit that Ikea furniture shared a place in our homes at one stage. Whether it was for your first apartment or outfitting kids rooms the renowned Swedish brand with the DIY, feel still is an affordable option. Ikea’s tea lights – sold in bags of 100 – are strategically placed on your way to the checkout. An impulse buy? Maybe.

Beeswax versus paraffin

Recently, we finished our last bag of tea lights and have yet to make the trek to the furniture warehouse. The thought of battling the parking lot and crowds to pick up some cheap paraffin candles started us thinking about the ecological impacts of these little light sources.

#Beeswax #Candles @Beeswaxworks blog post

What we discovered was the benefits of beeswax candles far outweigh mass produced paraffin versions.

6 Reasons to choose beeswax candles

  1. Beeswax is a natural product. Produced from the wax glands of honey bees (females) it is a natural, renewable product. Although, it is hard work for the bees who must fly long distances collecting nectar for honey. From 6 to 30 pounds (estimates vary) of honey is formed to produce a single pound of wax. Regardless of the number, you begin to understand why the wax is expensive.
  2. The expense equation. Beeswax candles may be costly to purchase, but due to a high melting point, the wax is slow burning and lasts much longer than paraffin versions.
  3. A clean, smokeless burn. Now, that we understand the impacts of second-hand cigarette smoke on our health. What about the toxic fumes from paraffin candles? Paraffin is a refined petroleum by-product. The black crude sludge is bleached, then acrolyn and stearic acid are added to provide texture and hardening properties. You can read more here.
  4. Light quality. Beeswax candles produce a brighter light than paraffin candles.
  5. Reinforcing traditions. For centuries, versatile beeswax has been used as a sealant, a lubricant, for artwork (think batik), in cosmetics and candles. Archeologists have identified traces of beeswax in Roman ruins and Egyptian tombs.

The Key to My Heart #Beeswax #Candles @Beeswaxworks

Check out Salt Spring Island’s Bees Wax Works story on our creator’s page here and the beautiful candles made with 100% Canadian beeswax, to enjoy the benefits of this natural wax.

Image credits: with permission from Bees Wax Works