You will need:
- 1 recipe salt dough clay
- a bowl of water
- 8 1/2 by 11 inch sheet of paper, one for each candle
- wax paper, cut into 8 1/2 by 11 inch sheets, one for each candle tape
- 1 T vegetable oil
- small bowl
- candle making supplies
Honor Brigit with new special candles. These candles use molds made from coiled salt dough ropes so that each completely unique candle bears the spiral imprint of the coil.
Taper Candles – Make ropes by rolling salt dough clay between your hands. Each rope should be two or three feet long and 1/4 to 1/2 inch in diameter. If younger children can’t manage such lengths, have them make smaller segments that can be joined later with a little pressure and water. Dip your fingers into the bowl of water occasionally if the dough tends to crack. Roll the paper into a 1 inch wide cylinder and tape it shut. Around this cylinder, tape a piece of wax paper. Coat the wax paper with a thin layer of oil. Lightly moisten a salt dough rope with water. Lay the paper cylinder on its side at one end of the rope. Roll it along the dough, wrapping the rope up the cylinder until it is six inches tall. Be sure the edges of the coiled rope always touch. To provide extra support, at intervals stick several toothpicks vertically through the coils. Make a bottom for the mold by shaping another piece of salt dough into a 3/4 inch thick circle that’s larger than the coiled tower in diameter. Moisten the bottom’s surface, then carefully lift the coiled tower onto the bottom piece and press gently to make a seal. Pull the paper cylinder out. This slides out easily, leaving the wax paper. Remove it by gently tugging on the wax paper with one hand while you support the clay coils with the others. Inspect each part of the mold, looking for tiny cracks where melted wax could leak. Press these shut. If the coils start to sag, quickly fashion a paper cylinder around the outside of the coils and tape it closed. Trim it to the same height as the clay, so it won’t get in the way when you are pouring wax. Set the mold in an empty bowl, in case wax leaks through. You are ready to pour.
Pouring the wax is thrilling. Go very slowly up each level to make sure no wax is leaking through. If a leak appears, carefully pinch it shut and pour again. Insert the wick. The wax will harden within an hour, long before the clay dries. To unmold, just unwind the clay. If some sticks, soak the candle in cool water and then gently rinse off the clay. The candles have a wonderfully craggy spiral looping from bottom to top, and burn with a lovely strong flame.
Beehive Candles – You can also make beehive candles with great success by coiling ropes of salt dough in a small, deep bowl. A rice bowl is the perfect size. It’s easier to start with making a spiral, about 3 inches across, outside of the bowl, then transferring this into the bottom of the bowl. Next coil the rope inside the bowl until you reach the top. The candle is burned with the dome side up, so the wick has to be extended through the wax at the bottom of the bowl. When the wax is firm enough to insert the wick, use a slightly larger straw than usual, and push it firmly through the candle, into the dough beneath, straight to the bottom of the bowl. The candle unmolds easily: Lift candle and mold from the bowl and uncoil the mold.
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