Saturday, April 17, 2010

Review: Eco-Friendly Candlemaking Class at The Nova Studio

In May 2002, I took a rolled beeswax candlemaking class at the Palo Alto Adult School which sparked (no pun intended) in my interest in candlemaking. This class was interesting, but I really preferred the wonderfully scented pillar candles that you would find in the retail establishments. So I went to my local Michaels Arts and Crafts store to purchase some candle making supplies. And soon started to experiment.

While expermenting with my new supplies, I found a a couple of things that really turned me off with melt and pour candlemaking technique. First of all, I found the pillar candle molds to be very messy. No matter how well I sealed the hole where the wick was inserted, wax always seemed to leak out and made a mess. Of course, I was not smart enough to place any paper down where I was working. But luckily enough I was smart enough to melt my wax in the kitchen and pouring my melted wax into the mold on the washing machine. But some of the colored wax did seap and stain the floor which was not in a noticeable spot where anyone could see my mistake. I wound up with some success making container candles with mugs and beautiful tea cups.

Secondly, I found the Yaley scent chips I purchased at Michaels really did not scent my candles at all. Even though I used the whole block, I could barely smell the scent I added to the candle wax. As a novice, it did not occur to me to purchase the liquid scent that was being sold at Michaels or that I could use the fragrance oils or essential oils that I had been using for my melt and pour soap projects and classes. So after awhile, I just gave up and decided to give away my supplies.

Then after years of taking bath and body products classes from The Nova Studio in Point Richmond, CA, I saw that Lori was selling handouts to her classes, the candlemaking class handout was not available at the time. I knew that she taught a candlemaking class but the class was rarely offered. So soon after I saw that the class was scheduled to be offerred in April 2010. So, I jumped at the chance to be the teaching assistant for the class and I am so happy that I did because it has inspired me to take on this craft again.

In this four hour class the instrauctor covers everything you need to know about making candles: basic safety considerations, necessary equipment and materials, different types of wick, how to color your candles, how to scent and mold them, as well as ideas for how to package them.

The instructor will also discuss scenting candles with natural, pure essential oils for their aromatherapy benefit and to keep our candles natural. Each student will custom scent and color (optional) their own candles. Whether you are making candles for yourself, for gifts, or to sell, this is the class you've been looking for! It's hands-on class that is packed with information.

Students get to take home thorough handouts, enough information to make natural wax candles on your own as well as a pair of beeswax rolled taper candles, a 6 oz. aromatherapy soy container candle, and 2 aromatherapy scented soy wax votives. Just to be on the safe side, please don't wear your favorite outfit to class.

Now this class is normally taught by Lori Nova, herself, but she has turned the rains over to Melanie Monteverde. Melanie has been going to The Nova Studio since 2006 and has taken classes in pouring natural candles, and making bath and body products. Her kitchen gets more use from making bath and body products than it does from cooking! She has taught students of all ages, ranging from preschoolers to adults in a corporate setting.

This was Melanie's first time teaching a class at The Nova Studio and she did a wonderful job especially with a full class! She demonstrated the techniques very well and answered the students questions with the expert knowledge she has in the subject.

I would highly recommend taking this rare class the next time it is offered at The Nova Studio or any class that Melanie is teaching. This class and all of the classes at The Nova Studio are supreme.

And if you are wondering if I have purchased any supplies to make candles. Yes I have. I used a 50% coupon last week for Michaels where I purchased a wax melting pot. I also bought some glue dots, metal candle containers (4 to a package) and some wicks. For making the votive candles, I am going to start out using the dixie cups like shown in the class. The votive metal molds at Michaels are $15.99 for 6 which I thought was expensive. So I am going to use a coupon. But as for the wax and colorant, I am going to purchase it from one of the recommended vendors in the handout. Will let you know how my newly developed technique works out.


Anonymous said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Lori Stoia said...


Thank you very much for reading and coming back. I hope that I have inspired you to make your own bath and body products.