Making candle moulds from silicone

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Hi folks

Just thought I?d show you a process I?m going through at the moment. I?ve just started making a few candles and purchased my first silicone mould for a skep beehive candle. It is a design that I really like as it is quite rustic and unrefined. That suits my style and it?s where I would like to head with candle making. Many of the candle moulds out there look amazing but they are symmetrical and smooth in their design. Quite a few candle makers use them and if you walk around farmers markets, there is a common theme that appears in every stall. I want to be a little different and have decided to design and make a few moulds that are a bit  more organic. The patterns and irregularities that appear in nature catch my attention and often blow my mind. We often see it in all sorts of places. The garden, beach or areas of the local bush present visual images that can capture a persons imagination. Quite a few years ago I used silicone to make a pattern for forming beeswax foundation. It was a simple process and the liquid silicone was a material that formed a mould without any real skill or specialised equipment required. I thought a trip down that path would be a worthwhile experience for making candle moulds. The first step was to select and order a small batch of the appropriate silicone online. EBay has heaps of the stuff so I put in an order. I decided that a small mould would be a good starting point so that I could develop a technique that would work for my situation. If the idea failed, I wouldn?t be waiting much. The first idea for a candle hit me when we took the grandkids for a play on the beach. They were having a lot of fun building a castle out of driftwood. When I came over to see what they were doing, I noticed that some of the branches had interesting textures on the bark. I quickly decided that this would be a good starting point for the experiment. A small branch was chosen and was carried back in the bottom of a pram sitting next to the one year old. This is the chosen piece

The branch was trimmed and the ends quickly sanded.

Imperfections were filled with some of the kids play dough and the bark and end grain was sealed with a wood sealer that I had sitting around. 5 Coates were applied as the bark was quite porous.  When this dries, the mould to hold the silicone will be constructed.

That is pretty interesting. I may end up doing some of the same. I?m waiting to see how yours turns out.
Jim Altmiller

That's going to look SO COOL!  I would absolutely buy an candle like that if I saw one.  I'd also by a mold if I saw one.  :happy:

Thanks guys. As this is only an experiment, the size of the candle will be small. The blank is about 30mm in diameter and about 85mm long. If successful, scaling it up won?t be an issue. If it fails, I only waste a small amount of silicone. The only concern I have is how the silicone will react with the bark and the timber surface. Will it release clearly or tear away and grab small pieces and ruin the mould. I have just poured the silicone and should know the results tomorrow. Will post some more photos shortly.

It should work. I have full sized pine cone molds that must have been made from real pine cones. On these molds they must have filled in the center section but most of the petals show. 
Jim Altmiller


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