Sunday, August 9, 2009

a candle...sort of...

for as long as i can remember, i've always wanted to make candles. today, i did...sort of. i remember my auntie have these lamp things which she fuelled with cooking oil, and had a wick burning out of it. i'd been burning the odd tea light lately and wondered if the aluminium casing and little thing left after burning (i've since found out that it's the thing that holds the wick by clamping the wick firmly to the base) were recyclable. so i decided to see if i could make a lampy/candly thing.
i found a tag from a jacket i bought for miss c the other day had a cotton stringy cord atached to it and decided to recycle that as the wick. it was short for a piece of string, but long for a wick. gives new meaning to waste not want not. at that stage, i only had a aluminium casing without the wick anchor, so used a mangled paper clip to act as the anchor for my first attempt. it wasn't fabulous, but it worked. i poured in extra virgin olive oil (that's what i had on hand...ideally, it should be the cheap non food grade olive oil, but i was on a roll and did not want to wait), waited for the wick to become saturated with oil and then lit it...and it burned properly! like a real candle! if i didn't know better, i'd say it actually burns with a nicer flame than a candle....the flame seems smoother. of course, i could be biased, but you should try it yourself.
having done one was not enough; i wanted to make another one. at this stage, i found another casing, and this casing had one of those wick anchors. this was when i paid more regard to the wick anchor. it had a hole in the middle, for the wick to go through, and it also had something to hold the wick so it wouldn't loosen. the anchor made the second candle thingy easy and faster to assemble. i used one of my pointy tweezers to poke the wick through the hole in the anchor and pressed the clampy thing together to hold the wick securely. put it in the casing and poured oil into the casing, again waiting for the wick to absorb some oil, then lit it.
i've got both candle thingies burning smoothly next attempt will be to make lampy out world, here i come.....oh yeah, i think i'm going to have to get me some of that there cheap olive oil.....

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