Entwined Vines interview with Emerald Chandlery
When and how did you first become interested in crafting?
I've always liked to make things, in school my favorite class was 'technology' which was just the politically correct name for shop. That was the only class where we actually made things.
How long have you been creating your chosen craft?
A bit more than a year. Feels like much longer.
What are your crafting influences?
Commercial goods oddly enough. It almost feels unfair to pick on commercial candles, but many of the ones I've seen are of such low quality that it's almost impossible to look at one and not think "I can do much, much better".
Does anyone in your family do a similar craft?
Nope. Most don't make anything at all.
What kinds of places have you displayed your craft in your life?
Right now I have candles in two consignments stores, two online shops (Artfire and Zibbet), and I'm starting to do craft shows. I also did a weekend a local flea market.
What else do you do besides create these beautiful pieces?
Mostly I cook and play with my cats. In a previous life I was a software tester.
What is your favorite piece that you have created so far?
My current favorite is definitely the votives, with Almond and Apple Pie usually duking it out for favorite scent. I've got a new product in the works that might take over as favorite though.
Why did you make that piece?
Almond is one of my original 4 scents. I went down to the supply store and started smelling samples that sounded good alphabetically. That one caught my attention. Apple Pie came a bit later as a Christmas season addition.
What does it take to create pieces like that?
Lots of patience, no fear of molten wax, a reasonably good nose, quite a bit of testing and a willingness to scrap a recipe and go back to the drawing board. There's also a surprising amount of math involved in candle making.
I don't skimp on quality ingredients or candle size. Yes you can get an imported votive at the local drugstore for as little as a quarter, but they're usually tiny and of poor quality. My candles manage to have both long burn time--approximately 18 hours, some have been known to last longer--as well as very good scent throw. I also do a lot of testing to make sure the correct size of wick is used for each. It's very rare for one of my candles to have a dangerously large flame, smoke while burning, develop an unsightly knob at the top of the wick, or drown itself, all of which I've seen in commercial candles.
What makes this kind of craft "good" to you?