by Lucy Chambers
JAM Contributing Writer
The value of art is often the message, not necessarily the medium. As with any hobby or career, it can be easy to fall into a rut, creative or professional. It’s important to find new inspiration and take on new challenges in art because it can strengthen your brain and even help slow or prevent an eventual decline in cognitive skills. more than three-quarters of people surveyed said that learning something new made them feel more proficient and versatile in their skill set, and two-thirds said it helped expand their circle of connections. Choosing a new, creative activity with a low-barrier to entry, while also providing multiple avenues for creativity – like making candles – can support artists and their work.
Steps to candle making
The candle making process is pretty straightforward and quite practical, as well as extremely popular; more than three-quarters of American families use candles at home. Wax – whether paraffin, beeswax, animal fat, soy or other material – is melted gently in the upper pot of a double-boiler on low heat, usually a stove-top or electric hot plate. Coloring and fragrance are added to the melted wax, and then it’s poured into a mold or jar where the wick is already in place and allowed to set. Be sure to follow safety precautions when preparing the candle medium, and ensure that the molds or jars being used can stand up to the high heat of melted wax!
Getting creative with candle-making
Candle artists have so many avenues of expression for their art. Use containers on hand in new and creative ways or craft new molds to convey themes, ideas or objects, familiar and new. Come up with custom candle colors using commercially produced dyes or plants, roots, and flowers from home gardens. Get creative with fragrances by adding essential oils, mint, lavender, basil or dried flowers to the melted candle medium to set your work apart. Some artists carve designs into cooled candles while others carve the candles themselves into figures, abstract shapes, or other recognizable objects.
Artists are likely to find that the benefits of candle making reach beyond the actual candles themselves. The creative process of overcoming the fear and anxiety of learning something new develop new expressive skills that can generate inspiration and ideas for other projects. Thinking creatively in new and meaningful ways can be just the tool that helps artists overcome a rut.
Lucy Chambers is a professional freelance writer with many years experience across a variety of sectors. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job, and loves the work-life balance it offers her.