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January 16, 2015

CLASS WITH GLASS

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"The En-Light-ener"
Candle Making Newsletter

CLASS WITH GLASS

We hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday season. On behalf of the Candlewic Company, we truly look forward to working with you in 2015. As we highlighted, we launched a number of new items and resources last year and will continue to do so in 2015. One that seemed to be extremely popular is that for every 1 pound of fragrance purchased (up to 10), you can select, free of charge, another 1 ounce to test. We thank you for taking advantage of this and hope you are finding exactly what you need.

The Candlewic Team

When writing about making candles we often tend to focus on providing information about which wax will work best, which wicks will perform properly, and even which fragrances will be the next trend. One subject that never seems to get the emphasis it should, however, is how to select the right container for the candle you're making.

The first, and most important, lesson to be learned when purchasing glassware is the different wax capacities that the glasses hold. The glassware industry measures all glassware in liquid capacity when filled to the top. The problem is that when making candles, you should not be filling wax to the very top, and, since wax weighs less than water, both of these will result in a finished candle less than the "capacity" the glass will hold. When developing your label, the best thing to do is weigh your glass when it's empty, fill it to the desired level, and weigh it again. The difference in the two capacities is about 15-20%.

When picking glass, container design can be an important factor in candle performance. For example, one requirement for burning a wick is sufficient oxygen supply. Containers that are very long and narrow can experience difficulty burning when they get to the bottom due to the lack of oxygen. Therefore, it can be important to select glassware that has an ample opening compared to the height.

Another thing to consider when selecting a glass design is that round jars have the best chance of burning properly. While square jars can look very nice, it can be difficult or impossible to get the corners to burn completely out, which means there can be hang up on the sides. When selecting the square containers, be sure to expect some type of corner hang up with the wax.

While certain glassware might look very unique, they can often present challenges if they deviate far from a straight-sided glass. The more significant the tapering of the glass either way, the more difficult it is to select the proper wick. If you size the wick for narrowest part, it will tunnel when it gets to the wider points, but if you size the wick for the wider part, the flame will be too small at the narrower points the wicks. Glassware with these unique sizes should be ruled out, and in fact, most of the better designed pieces have this feature. For example, the interlude has a design (pictured below) that curves in and back out, and most people size the wick to burn the middle of the curve.

Be sure to check out our video for additional assistance on picking the right container.

Another consideration to make before you complete the design of your label is to first select the containers you are going to use. Because containers can have different curves, tapers and sizes, the label size and design becomes important.

A definite factor to consider when launching a "candle line" is to offer styles that have several different sizes available. The Status line is great because it is available in 2.75, 8, 12 and 21 ounce sizes. Using the Status jars will allow you to hit a wide range of price points. The 2.75 offers a great point for your potential customer to test your product, and once they have confidence in the performance, they can move up to the larger sizes.

Another line of glassware to consider using would be the Vibe. This is available in 4.5, 12 and 27 ounce sizes and has a very unique, sleek design to it. Both of these lines are more expensive than some of the other pieces available, but the quality, design and flat lid can help enhance the look of the line. One of the realities with glassware is that most of the better lids can run as much as the actual glass piece.

Several of the more popular pieces available are jelly jar and hex jar. Both of these jars are very competitively priced, without compromising the quality, and both will allow you to offer your candles to customers at great price points.

Looking for a way to spruce up some of the glassware without making dramatic changes? If you are using the bubble lid, simply remove the plastic filament (70995, 70996 and 70997 all have these lids) and fill that top with something unique. If you're making a Valentine's Day candle, fill it with some red candy. If you're making a coffee fragrance candle, fill it with some coffee beans. If making a floral fragrance, add dried flowers to the lid. This will add a nice touch to your candle and enhance the value to the consumer.

Some jars do great without lids. These styles include the Rock Tumbler and the Square tapered, to name a few. These offer the maximum opportunity for your customer to really smell your candles, while not compromising the look of the candle.

In addition to glassware, there is a large selection of tins which make for great travel containers and are great when learning to make candles. Tins can hide the flaws many people get when starting out, such as air bubbles, pulling away from the container and sweating.

Tins are available in sizes starting out as small as 4 ounces and going as large as 16 ounces. There are also several sizes that have the plastic lid. One of the great things about tins is that many people will not even use color, making the process simpler.

While it seems like you have a lot to select right when starting out, it is important to also spend some time looking over the glass options to ensure you have the right one for what you wish to do. The glass you select can and should help add value to your candle.

CHANDLER'S CORNER

Hi! I'm Chandler!
I can help you
learn how to make candles.

One of the most frequently asked questions every year is "How much fragrance should I add to my candles?" While it may seem that a standard response like 5-7% is the easiest way to answer, in many instances, there are other variables to consider. For example, fragrances like Cinnamon have a tendency to be very strong, and you may actually get away with adding just 4-5%. On the other hand, a citrus fragrance sometimes may need more than the standard 5-7% response. Sometimes, when making pillars, people prefer them not to be as concentrated because there is not really a way to “seal” the fragrance, and the consumer may not want that particular fragrance over pouring the room. A container candle can generally be closed and opened to help control the fragrance.

The other important thing to remember when it comes to adding the fragrance is trying not to batch by candle size, but rather, in set amounts. For example, mixing in 1, 2 or 4 lb. quantities you're measuring is much easier, and if you spill wax you have extra.


January 2015


Featured Project:
Naturally Layered

We are pleased to announce that Brian B. submitted this month's project and was recipient of a $100.00 gift card for Candlewic products. Do you have a great idea? Be sure to submit them to us and you could be one of our future months winners. We have entitled this project "Naturally Layered," and it can be made using the steps below.

Materials used in this project

Aluminum mold (AM-6) - 3" x 6.5"

Smooth Pillar Blend Wax (CSP)

Color Blocks

15 Ply Wicking

Steps

1. Heat the PillarBlend wax to between 160-165°F, for the first layer it may enhance if no color is added, but you may wish to add fragrance too. Then, take some shavings of dye block and place them on the bottom of the mold and pour the initial layer. After you pour the wax, take your skewer and swirl the shavings at the bottom. Then, wait until the top has skinned. To accelerate this, you can place the candle either outside (in the winter) or in the refrigerator for at least 15-20 minutes (sometimes for as much as a few hours to ensure the layer is fully cooled and hardened). If the next layer is poured sooner, it will melt the layer below and the transition between colors will be less defined (which can be a good thing, depending on what you are looking for). This takes some experimentation to learn how much time you should wait for a layer to set up. The second layer then can be poured at the same temperature and your desired color added.

2. To enhance the look, take a bamboo skewer (like for BBQ) to poke around the edges of the cooling layer to make a more "sawtooth" or wavy transition between layers.

3. When shaving off dyes into the liquid wax, sometimes you can very carefully use a torch lighter to melt the dye shavings, and a bamboo skewer to push the dye shavings towards the edge of the mold so that the dyes will run down near the edges and be more visible on the finished candle.

It takes some experimentation to get good results, and using clear plexiglass molds makes it possible to see how the colors are working. The nice thing with a project like this is that the possibilities are endless and you can make it in various sizes and shapes.

 

 

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We hope you enjoyed this issue of the En-Light-ener.
Thank you for your continued interest and support.
Our goal is to make this newsletter as entertaining and educational as possible.
Let us know if you have any ideas on how we can improve.

Candlewic Company
3765 Old Easton Road
Doylestown, Pennsylvania 18901
800-368-3352

 

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