With so many of us experimenting with sourdough starters, becoming cocktail masters and trying out new exercise routines – it seems only natural that the next step would be us making our own soy candles. We did just that with Nichola Prested. She runs the Handmaker’s Factory, a studio space in West Footscray aiming to empower people to confidently create in a sustainable way through their creative workshops.
Now, in the time of COVID, the Handmaker’s Factory has teamed up with ClassBento to deliver a variety of live online workshops, from making your own soap to DIY screen-printing. There’s a lot of fun to be had all round.
The live online workshops aim to create an experience very similar to attending a workshop in person. We booked in online and were then posted a kit containing all the materials for our soy candle class. Sustainable, with an organic design, the box arrived quickly and smelling great. I especially appreciated the low use of plastic within!
The majority of the materials we needed were in the kit: a booklet with steps, wax, wicks, fragrance oils, even a melt mould we could use for an oil burner. The only materials we had to provide were a double boiler (a pan with a bowl) and a thermometer. We had both of those lying around in our kitchen.
On the day of the event, we connected with Nichola over Zoom, where the live class was held. She guided us through how to set out our materials, the provided booklet, and general safety precautions. From there, we started making the candles: heating up the wax, mixing in the fragrance oil, pouring the mixture into the glass jar and tealights, and letting it set.
Nichola was a great teacher throughout the process. She was warm, inviting, and helpful. We felt comfortable asking her questions, no matter how silly they were, and her instructions were clear and easy to follow. The small tips she gave us made the experience especially personable. I don’t know about you, but I’d never thought that wax would harden and block the pipes if it was poured down the drain! Luckily, she stopped us before we made that mistake.
It was undeniably a great activity to do from home, both alone and with others. The class went for approximately 30 minutes: a perfect duration for a Saturday morning activity. It was also recorded; in case we wanted to watch and make the candles on our own time instead. Another benefit of having the class live over Zoom was that Nichola could use cameras set up at different angles throughout the class, to show us exactly what needed to be done in an even clearer way. Seeing the candles she was making made it easier for us to understand how to make our own.
From booking the class to Nichola’s delivery, the entire workshop experience went very smoothly. We would definitely recommend to other Victorians looking to have some fun whilst learning a new skill – and best of all, the provided handout means that you can make more candles on your own, at your leisure!
Daniela Koulikov is a freelance writer who loves to get creative.