Method of Construction

Constructed by: Natasha Baker '01, Laura Brandt '01, and Carole Zakrzewski, '00

We had to carry out several preliminary steps before we could begin making actual candles. We began by rendering animal fat into tallow. This process was relatively easy because we used lard rather than cut up bits of fat, and most of the impurities were already gone. We boiled the lard with a little water and a few teaspoons of salt to leach out any remaining impurities for about an hour. Then we poured the liquid fat into a bowl and left it to solidify. The second part of our preparation was spinning cotton for our wicks.

The candle making itself took an entire day. We began by melting the tallow in a double boiler arrangement. We tied our spun cotton wicking to short sticks and once the tallow had liquified, we dipped the wicks into the tallow. We realized that we needed a way to cool the candles between dippings, and we got a second container of cool water. We dipped each candle into the tallow, then into the water to cool. It took about two hours of repeated dipping to make the tallow candles. The beeswax candles, on the other hand, took about half an hour using the same method because beeswax has a much higher melting temperature than tallow, and the candles cooled between dips much faster. The leftover wax was poured into containers with wicks suspended in them to make small pillar candles.


Berthold, Robert Jr. Beeswax Crafting. Connecticut: Wicwas Press, 1993.

Bramson, Ann. Soap: Making It Enjoying It. New York: Workman Publishing Company, 1972.

Roy, L.M.A. The Candle Book. Brattleboro: Stephen Daye Press, 1938.

Candles and Candlemaking

Candles by Wicks' End


Mining Co. Candle and Soapmaking

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