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Re(2): Candle-making ideas


From: Susan Holland (Susan_Holland_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Feb 28 2001 - 05:01:00 PST

Thought I'd tell you about a candle-making activity we did at an outdoor
education center- the key word here is probably "outdoor." We made dipped
candles with the kids each starting with one 6 inch wick. We melted wax in a
tall juice can and placed that on a stump. About 20 feet away we placed a #10
can of cold water on another stump. Kids formed a line and walked in a loop
between the cans. They dipped once in the wax, held the wick over the can to
"drip" off the excess, and then walked to the cool water can to dip in there to
harden the wax. Layers built up. After about five dips, the wick can be
shaped into interesting spirals or whatnot- or left straight. They would keep
dipping and walking for around 15 minutes and build up nice little candles.
There was often wax dripped outside the can, so that's why "outdoor" is a good

We used blocks of paraffin and colored it with old crayons. For melting the
wax, we made a double boiler with one #10 can and the tall juice can and used a
two burner electric heating stove. We put water into the #10 can and also at
least a cup of water in the juice can with the wax. The wax will float on top
of the water in the can as it melts so it is never in contact with the metal
that is in direct contact with the electric burner. It did not effect the
dipping process to have water at the bottom of the juice can.

Susan Holland
Visual Art Studies
University of Texas at Austin