Diwan bookstore this October hosted a candle making workshop in its Heliopolis branch. In the five-day workshop, participants were taught ingenious candle manufacturing techniques and intricate designs of professional quality. The aim of the workshop was to develop participants’ artistic skills and revive their creativity.
"Thanks to Diwan that have come up with the valuable idea of organizing this kind of workshop,” instructor Aida Torkey said.
Aida then explained how she started pursuing handicraft hobbies. “I joined a course in Maadi a long time ago to learn the basics of candles’ making, then I decided to delve deeper into this skill through surfing the internet and reading lots of books until I became an expert,” she said.
Besides candles’ making, Torkey has other artistic handicrafts skills including mosaic, silk, glass and wood painting. However, she is not planning to turn from amateur into entrepreneur. “I am going to give workshops only. I cannot balance between my family and professionalism, which requires more time and effort than workshops.”
Silvia Mastkawy, an interior designer and participant in the workshop, said her obsession with candles is the reason behind her workshop attendance. “I’m a candles’ collector. My own bedroom is almost completely lit by candles rather than electric chandelier.”
Mastkawy already has a broad background in candle manufacturing but, according to her, book instruction seems to be more complicated than starting your own practice. “Being taught by a professional instructor simplifies the complex techniques you read in books. You just have to learn the basics and the sky is the limit. I have been taught here that whatever idea comes to my mind, can turn into reality,” Mastkawy said.
Heba, another participant, said developing handicraft skills in general unleashes your creativity and helps in generating more innovative ideas. “I am not working now, so I wanted to break the routine," she said. "I thought learning a new handicraft can be so interesting. Exerting an effort to create a candle with your own hands gives the experience a pleasant taste.”
1) An open-air area (for health reasons)
2) Electric stove
3) Double boiler (The first pan is for boiling water while the second one is for heating the wax)
4) Select the type of Wax you desire: Paraffin, beeswax, gel, and soy.
5) Cotton wick to avoid creating any smoke
6) Choose metal or plastic or rubber mold, based on the shape and size you want the candle to have. Do not use glass mold as you will not be able to remove the wax from it.
7) Wax dyes (not widely available in Egypt) so you can use crayons as an alternative material.
8) Fragrance or essential oils.
The basic steps for candle making:
1) Melt the wax in the double boiler.
2) Wait until the wax is totally melted.
3) Add your selective color of wax dyes or crayons.
4) Pour in essential oils, which are more natural than fragrance ones, to scent your candle.
5) Make sure the length of the cotton wick is matching with the candle’s diameter.
6) Cut a narrow opening in the center of the mold base where you can insert the wick.
7) Pour the wax inside the mold.
8) Let the wax cool from 6-8 hours.
9) Remove your candle from the mold by turning it upside down.
You can find wax raw materials and suppliers at reasonable prices in Bab Zuweila, Bab al-Khalaa, Cairo.