Thursday, November 12, 2009
For the Love of Bees
His labor is a chant,
His idleness a tune;
Oh, for the bee’s experience
Of clovers and of noon!
- Emily Dickinson
Oh sweet success! Yesterday I mentioned that I was attempting to make beeswax ornaments. Today I proudly report that sweet scent of beeswax is a fragrant addition to our home, and I'm so pleased with how simple and beautiful these ornaments turned out. I tried several different types of string to hang them with - cotton string, natural raffia, and jute. All had varying degrees of success, but in the end, I've decided that jute takes to the wax the best - and provides a sturdier loop for these delicate ornaments.
The Little was enthralled with the whole process. He pulled up his chair to stand beside the counter as I carefully poured wax into each mold. He sniffed the beeswax bricks repeatedly, inhaling their honeyed smell. He carefully held each ornament as I removed it from its casing.
Here are a few tips for those of you who will make your own ornaments.
1. Chill your molds first. Whether they be ceramic, plastic, or polyurethane. Pull them out just before pouring the wax.
2. Spray each mold with just a dab of olive oil (or some other sort of vegetable oil) for easier removal.
3. Place wax paper down under your molds. If you have a messy pour, the beeswax will pop right off the wax paper when it hardens - so you can toss it right back in your double boiler.
4. Once your ornaments are a soft set and cloudy, place them in the freezer, on a flat surface for about 5 minutes. This shrinks the wax slightly and allows for you to remove them from the mold.
5. Any rough edges can be removed by heating a butter knife over a flame and gently running it over the edges of the ornament.
Our craft day was so successful that I've decided to go and look for more candy molds today to make more ornaments!
Yours in gratitude to the bees,