BEESWAX HONEYCOMB SHEETS FOR ROLLED BEESWAX CANDLES
You can make beeswax candles with no mess, no hot wax and no messy dyes. Beeswax has always been recognised as the best material for candles and even rolling beeswax sheets is not a new idea, the Vikings used a somewhat similar idea. The main difference now is that our sheets are thinner, and because they have been milled, they are more flexible and we have embossed the sheets with hexagons. Originally they were designed to enable beekeepers to guide their bees to build the comb where the beekeeper needed it - inside wooden frames, which makes life easier for the beekeeper. It just so happens that it is easy to make very good candles from these sheets and the hexagonal cell bases provided for the bees also give an interesting look and texture to these candles.
Making Rolled Beeswax Candles This is simplicity itself: Be sure that the sheets to be rolled are warm, 24 hrs. in a room at 70 deg F is ideal. If the sheets are too cold they may crack or split. After some months in storage the sheets may appear to be "frosted", a normal condition known as bloom. Should you wish to remove the bloom hold the sheets by a radiator for a few minutes or blow warm air from a hair dryer over them. To start with, try using a single sheet to make a candle; using 1" (thin) wick you will finish with an 8" tall candle with a diameter of just over an inch. Lay the sheet on a flat surface and put a length of wick, about 8.5" long, on one edge and about one eighth of an inch in from that edge. Cover the wick by folding that edge over it, making sure the wick is straight (using waxed wick will make this part easier). Now simply roll the candle up by continuing the rolling, applying gentle pressure as you roll. If you appear to be rolling it crookedly just unroll a little and adjust by gently "steering" in the other direction. Finishing is very simple too, just press the finishing edge with the side of your thumb and, if the wax is warm, you will find it will stick there firmly. When you have mastered the basic technique there are almost endless variations. Joining another sheet where the first leaves off will give you a thicker candle, cutting the top off at an angle before rolling will give you a tapered candle, rolling two sheets together, both cut at an angle, with one a little shorter than the other, will give you a "two tone" look. You can cut shapes in one colour to decorate a candle of a different colour. Cutting the wax is easy with a straight edge and a craft knife and shapes can be cut with pastry cutters.