Advanced Creative Techniques with Color

Color can be used creatively in many ways that allow you to express your creative nature, be decorative, have fun, or even use up your leftover colored wax. Color doesn't have to be simple, although certainly beautifully colored tapers and pillars are wonderful to have around and to burn for any occasion — or none at all, just to fit or lift your mood.

The Pour-In/Pour-Out Method for Molds

This interesting technique is the polar opposite of overdipping. It might be called “innerdipping.” What you do here is pour wax into a mold, and then pour it right back out, leaving a thin coating on the inside of the mold. As you do this, layers of color are built up on each other inside the mold, which means inside the finished candle.

There are many ways you can utilize this method, with different colors and different waxes. Remember that the last pour forms the core of the candle. You will need a fairly strong color to show through the outer layer, and a fairly thin outer layer of harder wax. Of course, you don't need to limit yourself to two colors, but it's a good idea to begin learning the technique using the simpler method.

Using paraffin for the outer layer provides a translucent effect so the inner core of color glows through. Because paraffin is softer than waxes with additives, mind the temperature of the inner wax to avoid a meltdown. (If the colors do bleed together, however, it could give an interesting effect.

When dying the wax for the last pour, you should use approximately four times the amount of dye that you would use for overdipping, unless you want a pale-on-pale effect. Generally speaking, the stronger colors work best here.

Be Flexible

As for molds, any kind of mold will do, but flexible molds give the best results because with them the color will be thicker in some areas of the candle than others (say, with a figurine). This thick-thin distribution of color through the finished candle creates nice variations of show-through. Beginners are advised to stick to simple shapes. Cylindrical and block shaped molds work great for making pour-in/pour-out color show-through candles. Or, try a star shaped mold for something a bit more fancy.

Here's How …

Here's the “how to” of the pour-in/pour-out method. You'll need a mold. Any kind will do, but flexible may be best. You'll need enough wax to fill the mold twice — once for each color.

  • Wick the mold according to the instructions on p. 122, or by whatever method a special mold might require.

  • Fill the mold with wax heated to l80° Fahrenheit and let it cool long enough for an eighth of an inch layer to form inside the mold.

  • Pour off the wax that is still liquid and wait about ten minutes for the inner layer to solidify.

  • Fill the mold with the colored wax that will form the core of the candle, heated to l80°. Allow the second pour to cool for two hours.

  • Poke holes in the wax (as described on p. 124) to eliminate air bubbles and then add more melted wax to fill in the gaps.

  • Allow the candle to cool inside the mold for two hours before removing it. Don't forget to use a mold release agent suitable to the type of wax you are using for the first pour, or the outer layer.

If the outer layer doesn't seem quite thick enough, you can strengthen the finished pour-in/pour-out candle by overdipping it in clear wax. Finish up with a plunge into cold water to make the candle shine, and polish with nylon pantyhose or a soft buffing cloth.

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