It was a college trip to Europe in 2008 that opened my eyes to the magic and elegance of candlelight. I was struck by the abundant presence of candles. Everywhere. Simple white candles. Transforming the atmosphere. Filling the cathedrals. Present on every table it seemed. One excerpt from Berlin in my journal read:
"(To the lovely waitress at Sangrantino WineBar) I watch, fascinated, entranced by the great care that her slender hands take in replacing the candles, extinguishing the old, and supplanting the new. -Also, by the seamlessly graceful way she switches languages between tables, like dance partners, English with me, Italian at the next table, and then to German with a family nearby.-”
Back home, yearning to recreate those feelings ignited within, I became obsessed with candlelight and the ambiance created by flickering flames. I also noticed how much unconsumed material candles generated. I then wondered about how much material must add up each year from thousands of candles - in thousands of churches - in countless cities - across the world! Much of this ends up in the landfills.
Thus began my mission: a decade of studying waxes, wicks, and candlemaking, establishing recycling protocol, and an obsessive drive to create clean, long burning candles from the unused wax all around me. (Pinterest and DIY blogs make it sound easy!) But in truth, it's a complex dance between chemistry and alchemy. And it will always keep me coming back for more.