Wick Trimming, and the Art of Giving Thanks
November 22, 2013
A lot more goes into burning candles than most people realize.
Candles are like people, coming in different shapes and colors. They’re made with different materials, like soy, paraffin, palm wax, and beeswax. They come in different styles, such as pillar, taper, or votive candles.
Like people, they come with different ways they need to be taken care of. Pillar candles don’t necessarily need a dish or container to sit in, but it’s a good idea in case wax leaks over the edge. Three-wick candles most always need a plate or dish to sit in, as maintaining three wicks in a consistent burn is tedious, at best. Votive candles need containers, and you should always be done with a votive when it’s got about a half an inch left at the bottom. Birthday candles are good for just one short, beautiful burn. They all differ.
Aunt Sadie always believed in keeping things in life simple, from her straightforward chocolate chip cookies to the gentle strength she showed every time she hugged you. You knew she cared for you by everything she did, and it was really that simple. That same simplicity is a core principle for us when we make our candles. We really believe in the K.I.S.S. principle: Keep it simple, sweetheart. Keeping it simple has allowed us to continue the craft we love for the past 16 years.
Our paraffin candles burn evenly, smell great, and come in containers that find their form and beauty in colorful, nostalgic labels, while providing plenty of function in their metal cans.
Aunt Sadie’s candles are simple, and they’re beautiful for it.
While all candles require different methods of care and maintenance, there are some universal truths when it comes to all candles. Before burning, you should always trim your wicks to an eighth or a quarter of an inch. You should never leave a candle unattended. Keep debris out of the melted wax so as to not disrupt burning patterns. There are universal truths to all candles, no matter the type of candle you’re burning.
Just like with candles, there are universal truths that apply to the human race. The golden rule, for instance: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Be kind. Don’t hurt people. Help a man when he’s down, teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime, don’t look anyone in the eye after 3am on the Boston Metro.
You know, just keeping it simple, sweetheart - just like Aunt Sadie did.
These principles and feelings of good will toward men really come out during the holidays, and with Thanksgiving right around the corner, we’re all thinking of family and loved ones. We all have Aunt Sadies we’re either really looking forward to seeing (or not seeing, as the case may be, but shhhhh...we won’t tell anyone), or Aunt Sadies we wish we were seeing again, but can’t because they’ve been taken from us.
The holidays give us time to pause, to take stock in those we call family. Most importantly, Thanksgiving, and any other holiday centered around family, should be taken as an opportunity to appreciate those we have around us, and those we wish could be around us more often. Intentionally, or unintentionally, holidays are really just formal and informal rituals of love.
And like candles, humans have universal truths. Every time I pick up a candle and light it, I take stock in it. I feel its heft in my hands, I appreciate the label that’s wrapped around its can. I breathe deep the scent, and almost every time, I revel in how much the candle smells differently when it’s burning than when it’s unlit.
Every time I light a candle, I trim it to that one eighth to half inch height, and I never leave them unattended. Every time I light a candle it’s my chance to appreciate it, and in my own way, it’s my time to enjoy and make note of the simple beauty in the process of it all. It’s my own informal ritual of love...a tiny holiday, if you will.
So enjoy your holiday: breathe deep those scents of turkey cooking, stuffing roasting, and cranberry sauce on the side. Enjoy your family, enjoy your days...just be careful not to trim your wick too short.