Join a candle making workshop in Cheshire this summer and you’re in good company, as the practice dates back to several centuries BC and has its origins in some of the great early civilisations of the world. Not only will you and your children enjoy making their own candles, they can also get a little history lesson on the history of candle making and its importance.
Among those civilisations were the Romans, who produced tallow candles from around 500 BC, the Qin Dynasty of China, which manufactured whale fat candles from around 200 BC, as well as cinnamon wax used for early Indian temple candles, and Yak butter candles in Tibet.
In the first century AD, indigenous people in what is now the northern USA would also make ‘candles’ by putting a dried eulachon fish on a stick and lighting it.
Candles grew in importance once the Roman Empire collapsed, as the disruption to trade that followed throughout Europe made it much more difficult to get olive oil to burn in lamps.
Tallow candles, as invented by the Romans, remained popular throughout the Middle Ages, but in churches and the homes of nobility, beeswax candles were used due to their more pleasant aroma.
In the early 1300s, the Tallow Chandlers Company of London was formed, while in 1456 it was given its own coat of arms, sealing chandlery’s place as one of the UK’s great guild crafts.
More modern times have seen candles decline as a source of illumination – especially after 1879, when the incandescent light bulb was invented – but with their pretty flickering flame and natural-looking light, for many people candles are a source of relaxation.
They are often now fragranced, filling a room with a sweet, fruity or herbal aroma, and helping to dispel unwanted scents and offer a calming, aromatherapy effect. Yet despite the centuries of history behind this craft, many people alive today have never made a candle of their own!
Cheshire Workshops candle making classes take place seven days a week, so you can keep your little ones entertained over the summer holidays. You can take your own candle home with you and we can also offer candle making experiences for school groups during term time, where pupils can make a twin twist candle and decorate either a tealight holder or upright candlestick to keep as a souvenir.
Visit one of our candle making workshops in Cheshire and you can experience candle dipping first-hand, with places for both adults and children.