Tuesday, 3 July 2007

candles for the well

Getting back to practical matters (and away from philosophising), my boiled-out wax remnants and "well-cooked"-in-the-waxpot wax have been given a new purpose in life: candles! Vanda Inman is making and selling them to raise funds for St Clether's Holy Well and Chapel, and has incorporated my accumulated leftovers in some, saying it's worked a treat!

One of the earliest Celtic saints St Clether came to Cornwall from Wales in the fifth century, settling in the still beautiful and peaceful Inny Valley. His chapel and well has been restored a few times since then, but an aura remains leaving visitors with a wonderful feeling of wellbeing and calm. It really is a special place and I'm glad I can contribute, even in a small way, to its upkeep.

I've never attempted to re-use boiled-out wax... having heard water is trapped in it and might spit when heated (and yes, I did warn Vanda and apparently there was no problem). Now I feel I should try re-using it. It might be no good for fine canting work but may work with brushwork or stamping. Or it may work fine with cantings. Perhaps using 10% old in with the new... I will play around and see, soon. I do foresee problems remembering what's in the waxpot at any time – new, re-used or even multiple re-used!

Well-cooked wax I used to save and use again for crackle effect finding it cracked more easily and sharply than "fresh" wax, having lost its malleability. But as I rarely use crackle effect now in work I will continue giving old wax away.

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