So many creatives struggle with burnout and I know I’ve been there on many occasions in previous jobs. While I’m feeling great right now, I know that I need to push myself into more self-care activities to keep me feeling inspired and chilled out.
Learning some new crafts or skills that I’m interested in purely as a hobby (don't expect candles to appear in my shop any time soon, haha) has been one of my intentions of 2019 so I recently spent a delightful morning with the team at Lemon Canary learning all about candle making; especially using essential oils as your fragrance, which can be a bit tricky to do as you really need a good understanding of how to blend them together to create a cohesive, story-telling fragrance.
Photo above: This was my workstation, with my trusty green water bottle.
When I arrived, I was just barely on time, having gotten a tad lost (their studio is about 1.5 drive from me) but I was still welcomed, given a name tag, apron and made a beautiful cup of tea from their organic tea range which made me feel very comfortable and relaxed despite the "I'll be late" panic.
As a first impression, I was blown away by the overall look and feel of their workspace. Clean, bright, white and modern. Everything had a place and the space was used extremely well as you can see from the under bench storage and wall shelving. The workbenches were decorated with round timber slabs and native greenery in vases with artificial plants adorning the more awkward spaces around the room, creating a beautiful indoor/outdoor feel.
We began with Chris and Aimee introducing themselves and telling us a little history about the brand and their backgrounds. We spoke about what to expect from the day and I was excited to see that Chris was approaching it from a play-experiment-learn angle. That's such a great way to learn anything! We lose that natural inclination towards play as we get older and more serious but take it from kids - the best way to learn anything is to approach it like a fun experiment.
Chris was also happy to share his wealth of knowledge from a production candle perspective which I absolutely commended. There were a few budding candle business owners in the group and it always impresses me to see makers share their knowledge and skills for the betterment of the industry, rather than keeping everything to themselves in the fear that they might create a competitor. Better skilled artisans produce better work which is better for the industry as a whole (and customers!) so, props to anyone that understands the power of mentorship and education.
We got to make several candles. The famous "intentional bowl", a medium glass container and a travel tin with six polycarbonate tea light cups and a wax melt clamshell for any leftover wax. I'm pretty boss at pouring exact amounts (coming from a soapmaking background after all) but the recipes provided all still had left over which was very nice to get to keep.
I went on my own but there were some groups and other individuals there as well and everyone was super nice. It didn’t feel awkward being on my own as the team was very welcoming and I loved seeing how different all of our creations as were even when working with the same materials. Check out their Instagram feed from the 9th March to see what our group made.
I was so impressed with the level of presentation, professionalism, workshop content and value I would highly recommend their classes to anyone interested in learning to make candles. If you'd like to go along to one, I suggest signing up for their newsletter or keeping an eye out for updated workshop dates on their website.
I’m so glad I got to spent the day learning something new and since it was a bit of a hike to the Gold Coast, I managed to catch up on a bunch of Create and Thrive podcasts too. Win/win! PS - if you haven't already heard about my ongoing love of Jess Van Den of Epheriell (handmade eco sterling silver jewellery) and Create and Thrive fame, go and check out her Podcasts. There's so much good content there (even for non-makers) I've gone all the way back to her 2016 shows because I can't get enough, haha.
Photo Above: Retail display at Lemon Canary with handmade organic soy wax candles, crystals, ceramics, essential oil blends, wedding favours, gifts and more.
What a blissful day! Thanks to Chris, Aimee and all the other participants!
Update 16th May 2019
I absolutely adore everything, the parcel smelled so good! I did have some learnings for next time, in case I want to have a play with candles again in the future:
- Avoid sprinkling rose petals around the rim; they look at bit like wet cornflakes once you've burned the candle a few times
- Keep your botanicals right at the edges of glass vessels because as the candle burns, it pulls the wax up inside the wick as fuel, meaning eventually you will have botanicals crowding the wick. This leads to mushrooming of the wick, even with a trim before each use
- Really commit to a longer burn time so you don't accidentally tunnel your larger candles