Thursday, April 17, 2014


There's was no attempt at matching colors.  The candles were
poured just as the wax came out of the coffee can.  My little
cat, Piper, kept an eye on quality control.
“Man loves company, even if it is that of a small burning candle.”
            Georg Christph Lichtenberg
“It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”
“A good teacher is like a candle--it consumes itself to light the way for others.”

What is it about candles? You can’t wed without them. You can’t worship without them. You can’t be buried without them. You can’t celebrate a birthday without them. They make a romantic dinner better. Even campers love the small light of a candle lantern in the tent or at the cabin table. They offer illumination, heat, and somehow even serenity.

When we were sailing in the colder months, we always used oil lamps over electric lights. For one thing, they saved the draw on the batteries. Likewise, a few candles easily illuminated the cabin, while also driving out the chill.

When the candle burns down to the stub, rather than throwing it out, I cut out the remainder of the wick and drop the wax in a Folgers coffee can. If it is a gift candle in a glass jar, I melt the remainder left at the bottom and pour it over a sheet of aluminum foil with the edges curled up. When cooled, the wax is broken into smaller pieces and joins the candle scraps in the Folgers can. Over the years, I’ve saved a substantial amount of wax, so during the miserable weather of a winter that has refused to end, I decided it was time to put the old wax back into service by pouring a bunch of tapers. I have a plastic mold that I got decades ago from some craft store, and I picked up a couple packs of candle wicking. Once I cleared a spot on the workbench next to the canoe cradle, I set to work. You can’t go into mass production with a single mold, so the project helped to keep me occupied for weeks as the wind, sleet, snow and hail continued on outside. When the wax was gone, so was most of winter, and I have a nice collection of tapers to bring me comfort and enjoyment for months (probably years) to come.


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