Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Creative Spaces! - Featuring Milton & Margies

Name: Jess Snively

Shop Name: Milton and Margie's Soy Wax Candles

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Description of work space.
How you use your creative space.
My creative space is where I store everything I need to work on my candles and where I complete all the work.

Your most favorite feature in your creative space.
My favorite feature is my ribbon dowel. It's really convenient to have most of my ribbons in plain view (then I don't forget what I have) and in an easy-to-access place (I don't have to clean anything up).

Name your "must-have" item in your creative space.
My must-have item is my little electric, portable burner. Without it I would still be completely taking over the kitchen with my candle making.

If you could change one thing in your creative space, besides the size, what would it be?
If I could change anything about my creative space, I would add an actual stove so I could work on more than one batch of candles at a time. It would be a gas stove so I could control the temperature better, as well. I would also add a really long counter that I could keep candles that are ready to go on, increasing my work space.

Please describe your dream creative space.
My dream creative space would be some sort of loft area in the attic of my future dream house. It would be spacious, have the above-mentioned stove, have tons of shelving for storing jars and finished candles, have a nice hutch to keep all my scents and dyes in, and have a designated packing and shipping area, which my creative space currently lacks. It would also not include my dog, who likes to knock everything in her path over and steal ribbon and paper towels.

Describe what inspirational items you keep in your creative space.
I keep clippings of cute candle decorating ideas in a folder in my creative space that I refer to when I want to stop doing the same things over and over. I also keep clippings on a bulletin board of business card and advertising examples. I have a book that inspires me, business-wise, called Crafting a Business, Make Money Doing What You Love. I have a ton of other books on crafting, not necessarily on candle making, that inspire my creativity. Many of them are 1970s sewing books from my mom or a thrift store.

If I see a candle or soap that has a really unique scent, I will try to create something like it. Or if there is a smell in nature (like grass, cedar, etc.) that I really like, I will try to find an oil to match it.

Describe your creative process in your creative space:
Do you have a step-by-step process?

My step-by-step process goes like this:

  • I first choose which jars I want to use from my empty jar shelf, depending on what size I want to make.
  • I then choose the appropriate wick size for the jar, and glue the wicks to the bottom of the jars and let them dry for about an hour. (I often do a bunch of these at one time, so the drying process doesn't interrupt my candle making.
  • Then I choose the color and scent I want to use for the candles.
  • Then I melt two pounds of wax on my portable burner, add the dye, add the scent, and pour it in the containers.
  • Once the candles have completely dried, I decorate them with ribbons, lace, rick rack, pom poms, or decopage, and put them on the "finished candles shelf." If there are any imperfections (like cracks or bubbles) on the top of the candle I use a igniter lighter (for a lack of a better word) to melt and smooth the wax.

Is your creative process sporadic?
The actual process of making candles is not very sporadic, but it is sporadic in what colors and scents I use, because I am getting new and different ones all the time. I have some tried-and-true favorites that I regularly make, but I mostly like to experiment with new scents.

Another Great Picture of Jess’s Creative Space!


Glorious Hats said...

So enjoyed a peek into your creative space. What lovely soothing colors in the candles you make. Also enjoyed the recycling of jars and cups. Thanks for sharing your place and process.