Somewhere, Over the Rainbow
Color is a very important element to the candle maker. Color
grabs our eyes, alters our mood, beautifies our surroundings,
and evokes feelings of days long past. Although there are
volumes and volumes of written material based on the topic
of color, this article will just highlight on a few key aspects
that impact the candle maker directly. For our purposes in
the candle making community, color may quite simply be boiled
down to the sensation caused by light rays as they interact
with the human eye, brain, and past experience. Here are
a few tips that help candlemakers control color and use it
as a tool to help create wonderful candles that tempt the
eye and tease the senses.
For some of us, it has been a while since we sat
through an art class. If the following paragraph is too
dry or basic, please continue on to the next paragraph
about the actual techniques that are used in candle making.
|primary and secondary
The three primary colors are red,
blue, and yellow. These 3 colors are mixed to create
all the other colors in the rainbow. When you mix the 3
primary colors, you get the secondary colors, green
orange and purple. From there on out you can mix any
color you need. This is how a color wheel was developed.
When using multiple colors in a single candle, a good starting
point is to use analogous or complementary colors. Analogous
colors are those that are next to each other on the color
wheel such as shades of yellow and green. Complementary
colors are those that are opposite on the color wheel.
These are just the basic starting point to a phenomenon
that knows no boundaries. You can use colors that resemble
groupings found in nature, school/team colors, the latest
popular interior design colors, or anything else that touches
you or your customers’ inner feelings.
There are countless techniques available to candle makers
to help solve color challenges. The first question a candle
maker must ask themselves is how important is uniformity.
Uniform color may be extremely important to larger manufacturers
as well as any candle maker looking to sell their candles
wholesale to stores that will be reselling the candles. The
uniformity is important for aesthetics on the shelf in a
retail environment. Increasing batch sizes solves this challenge.
The larger the batch, the easier it is to measure dye accurately.
This is simply achieved by using a larger
melt tank. The sound of a larger tank might sound painful
on the budget, but sometimes it may be necessary for some
investment in equipment if the candle maker is looking to
produce candles that are “factory perfect”. If
you are using color
blocks, it never hurts to buy larger amounts of dye per
order to insure colors from the same lots. Candlewic offers
aggressive pricing on 144 piece lots. This saves money on
shipping expenses, material cost, and helps to insure you
have enough dye on hand to handle any order that comes through
your door – especially during the busy season. Quality
measuring tools are very important when measuring color.
Whether you are using a scale, a dropper, or a measuring
cup, it is important that you use the precise amount each
time. It helps to have a heat resistant white surface to
put a few drops of color on to visually see if they match
the last drops but remember the drops will not accurately
represent the true color.
Believe it or not, there are times when color uniformity
is not as important as it seems. Take for instance online
purchases. All monitors and printers interpret color slightly
differently, so the color of the finished candle will probably
never match the screen of the purchaser. Slight variation
may be OK. If you are marketing the fact your candles are
hand poured, there are times when customers expect slight
differences in color and actually appreciate the choice between
shades. In the case of fundraisers or direct sales, the purchaser
is usually helping to support the seller and has a bit of
tolerance for slight variations in color. It is up to the
candle maker to make the choice and tailor their operations
to fir customer expectations.
Candlewic offers a variety of dye and color options for the candle maker.
line of liquid dye is known to candle makers for its consistency,
deep color, and user-friendly attributes. Candle makers who market vegetable
waxes appreciate the fact that EVO dyes are made using eco-friendly
ingredients and do not have a bad odor. Our color
blocks are an easy way to use color with less mess and our large
selection eliminates the need to manually mix colors (but you may mix
them if you prefer). Pigment
dyes produce spectacularly deep colors, but are used for over dips
only (if you use pigment to color the core, it may clog the wick). Powder
dyes are the most economical way to color large batches. They are
extremely strong, and although they may be economical, care should
be used because a little goes a very long way. Please remember that
your color may fade after all your hard work, so a little insurance
is to use UV light absorbers U.V.
531 and U.V.
5411 to help maintain the color you want.
I get a lot of questions every week asking about making
floater candles. The common thread between all the questions
is that it just seems too easy to believe. Luckily, the answer
is yes, it really is that easy. We offer a complete line
candles in a variety of molds. All wax floats, so it
is only important to pick a wax that releases from the mold.
Just about any wax over 130-melt point should be suitable.
The only thing you need to watch out for is getting the correct
wick. You need a wick that does not quite burn out to the
edge so water does not flow into the wax pool. Our most popular
mold is the tart
mold. This mold works double duty because it can also
make an attractive tart for use in tart melters (by simply
not adding a wick). Floating candles in colored water helps
to create an attractive retail display or wedding decoration.
This month’s project features a useful item
to add to your operation regardless of your size.
Tea lights are a great way to use up extra wax, create
little “calling cards”, or offer prospective
customers a chance to sample your scents before purchasing
a larger candle. The best part is that this month
we have a special that
offers free tea light wicks with every tea light
cup purchased (limit 10,000). Below you will find
the instructions for using our tea light mold that
ensures perfectly straight wicks, but alternative
Lay the tea
light mold on a flat, level surface. Insert the pins and spray
a light coat of mold
release over the entire mold.
Prepare wax with color and fragrance to
suit. Pour wax into the mold so that all cavities are filled. There
is a lip that holds overflow wax.
Remove pins and pop the tea lights out of the mold. Clean any overly
rough edges with your fingers.
Insert a pre-assembled
wick assembly into the hole in the candle and place into a
tea light cup. You will notice that tea light cups have a small
circular indentation on the bottom. This indentation is 15mm and
is designed to match our 15x3mm wick tabs.
When pouring batches of wax, keep a few tea light cups on hand
to pour excess wax directly into the cups. This is also the method
used for pouring tea lights when using container wax. If you
currently use a M-63-P
votive pin for your votives, it will fit into the tea light
cups as well. Simply place the pin in the tea light cup and pour
a votive or pillar wax into the pin/cup set up. After it cools
remove the wax/pin from the cup, flip the candle over and put
back into the tea light cup. This will result in a beautiful
Off The Press:
You can never have enough
books to peruse for new ideas, new techniques, or
to use as an aide for educating your employees. This
month’s book is titled Creative
Soaps written by Soap Expressions. It has great
beginner soap projects with full-color photos. Although
geared more for the beginner, the many different
types of soaps shown in the book will inspire larger
manufacturers with new product ideas as well.
of a Candle Jar
When calling our
tech support to discuss jar candles, the
following information may be helpful in
facilitating the discussion. Please remember
to measure the “body” of the
jar when asked about the diameter of the