Sunday, November 23, 2008

Handicraft and Recycling

My daughter and I have had a project which has been going on for at least a month. First of all I love candles. Whenever I see exceptional or beautiful candles I just have to buy them. I never throw the remains away but store them and my daughter has been doing the same. I have not made new candles in several years so we had lots of material collected. Some candles don't burn very well and most of the stearin is left unburned.

I have an old small kettle which I got from my mother and I have used it for melting the stearin for years. Earlier I did not use the right way but I put the kettle straight to the stove. It is actually dangerous if you are not standing right near the kettle with a lid ready. If the stearin gets too hot it can burst into flames.

Now I had to figure out something new. I had bought an induction stove a couple of years ago. Since the wikipedia article shows a totally different picture, you can check the Finnish Helkama here. This type of cooktop does not work with kettles that are constructed from non-conductive materials. Unlike normal electric hotplates an induction cooker creates no heat; only the vessel used for cooking is heated. The basis of heat generation is magnetic field hysteresis loss. So my old kettle did not work any more. Now I used a water bath like I always should have and the vessel next to the stove was made of steel. Like you can see the stove is not heated; I have a towel protecting the stove.

As moulds we used practically everything: Pringles wrappings, energy drink bottles, plastic jam jars and glass bowls which have had candles in them originally.

When the liquid stearin hardens again it loses volume and that is why the candles must be done gradually but that makes the task rewarding. You can see the result when you remove the container. I was totally fed up with the work after one day but my daughter wanted to finish all the materials. These are the ones where the containers were removed by cutting them with a sharp knife.

These are the glass candles

Some people don't want to burn candles but I think candles make the dark winter so much warmer. The Finnish candles are the best. They don't start running, but the extra edges are folded beautifully beside the candle.

Now I have so many candles that I don't have to buy or make new ones in a long time...

1 comment:

Meghna said...

tis is so lovelyyyyyy!!

BTW. i need ur help: