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brb, circumnavigating the globe

...haha jk. my pal tyler kellen is, though! tyler was my manager for a significant (and actually productive) part of my time at my last job. i hadn't heard from him in a long time when he messaged me a few weeks ago to announce that he was sailing around the world and would be in my area soon. every day is a winding road!

tyler anchored near ellis island and came over this weekend. he asked if we could make candles and of course i was like don't threaten me with a good time! after a trip to the diner for brunch, i took him to the dollar store to pick out some vessels. he picked out 5 shot glasses.

photograph of my friend tyler looking at different bottles of fragrance oils on my kitchen table

i had just received my order from candlescience the day before, so i had 20lbs of wax and several more scents to choose from. and i made tyler smell all of them. he wanted to make rainbow layered candles with sandalwood and grass scents in every other layer, and one candle without scent in case it's too much for the boat.

tyler, now that i'm typing this out, what a ballsy and ambitious commission lmao!

photograph of my kitchen counter showing all the glasses wicked, dyes and fragrance laid out

those of you with hawks for eyes or eyes of a hawk, you're probably wondering "hmm, why are there only 4 shot glasses in that photo of the wicks set up?" well, annoying, i definitely dropped one of them and it shattered into way more pieces of glass that made up the thing to begin with. thrilling!

photograph of me taking the previous photo

that's a photo of me taking the photo and looking extremely natural and in my element. the gourds are rotting and i just haven't had the time to walk them to "the farm" (city compost bin). in order to have my own souvenir of this project, i made the same kind of candle in a larger salsa jar i had laying around.

photograph of our little candles with 3 small layers of red, orange and yellow that are pastel

the candles came out looking delicious, starting out looking like sorbet or candy corn. the funny (ha ha) part about these first three layers is that after we poured them, we got stoned and kept forgetting to put fragrance in the rest of the candles' layers.

photograph of tyler stirring our double boiler of wax at my stove next to the counter where we're pouring our candles

tyler did a great job, especially with the idea. my brain comes with its own set of ideas, and collaborators help me execute on ones i'd never even consider. like, i love my rainbow candle and it wouldn't have existed if tyler didn't come over and enthusiastically ask to make candles.

photograph of me at a cool angle pouring wax into the candle glasses

pouring into the shot glasses was the hardest part. in the future, i'd set out newspaper and pour into glasses onto the kitchen table so there is more space between the containers. i found that when they were so close together, it was hard for me to move one out of the way without spilling the wax.

photograph of pumagreg sprawled out on the table near tyler who is petting him

the whole process took a few hours because each layer had to cool. we spent the time between talking, drinking non-alcoholic sparkling wine, and paying more attention than we could afford to pumagreg, who worked the hardest out of all of us that day.

photograph of our final candles on my kitchen table, one is large and in a salsa jar and 4 are small shot glasses. they are rainbow wax going from red to purple in 6 layers

i'm really stoked about how these came out. there was some separation of the wax from the shot glasses, and i think it's because i didn't warm the shot glasses before i poured. the salsa jar came out perfectly and i've since removed the label.

i wish comfort and safety to tyler on his journey around this bitch of a earth. i hope he finds really cool pals along the way to share these candles with. and i look forward to being able to host more friends who will, in turn, get to enjoy my rainbow candle.

xoxo jenn

this was published November 11, 2021 under living art candles candle-making pumagreg friends