Wednesday, December 24, 2014
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The reason I chose beeswax angels is because last year we spent Christmas up in Portland with our son, Grady, and his lovely wife, Marianne. She was expecting a baby in February, so it was a really special time! My favorite ornament hanging on their tree was a beeswax angel made by Marianne's mother, Judy. I couldn't take my eyes off of it, how the light from the window shone through the angel's translucent body. I made up my mind right then and there that I was going to make some beeswax angels!
You start by procuring some beeswax. We live in a small community in the Sacramento Valley and I couldn't find any blocks of beeswax, so I bought some white blocks of wax from Michael's. They turned out very well, but the stark white did not appeal to me. I then ordered some blocks of beeswax from Amazon which also worked very well, but the angels were a little dark! So, I threw the white angels into the pot of beeswax, and I got pretty much the color I wanted, that the light would shine through.
I had looked around on the internet and found some ceramic angel molds from the Brown Bag Company. I don't believe they are still in business, but I saw lots of the molds available on ebay and ordered three different angels. They have little recipe books and direction books that you can get also, to make cookies or chocolates as well.
The first thing you need to do is brush a little bit of oil around inside each mold. Periodically you will need to brush a little bit of oil again when the angels become a little harder to get out.
Put a large pot on the stove with several inches of water on it. Take a smaller pot and set it in the water (double boiler style) and add a block of beeswax and a block of white wax to the smaller pot if you want lighter colored angels. It will take quite a long time to melt the wax, so start that early and keep an eye on the water so it doesn't go dry. Cover your stove with aluminum foil because you will get some splatters and spills of wax around. I put the burner on low for that reason. I sent for a butter warmer from ebay as well to use as a pourer. I just propped it up in the pot to keep wax from solidifying on it.
A few minutes before you start pouring angels, put the ceramic molds in the refrigerator or even in your freezer for a few minutes. It helps to get the angels loose if the molds are cold.
Then it's time to pour! Put the angel molds near the pot on a flat surface! Do this carefully and smoothly, and don't stop pouring midstream. Pour until the angel mold is full to the inside edge. Be sure to pour their little feet at the bottom. I usually start at the bottom so I won't forget!
There will be some spills as you learn how to do it. The nice thing is after your spills harden you can peel them off and drop them back into the pot!
The other thing you will need is some medium weight wire to cut about three inches long, then twist them with the ends going out to the sides. As soon as you pour an angel, take the wire loop and gently place it down into the top of the angel, and prop it against the top of the mold. Or you can wait a couple of minutes and put the loop down into partially solidified wax a little lower than the top of the angel so the loop won't show.
Let the angels set for a couple of minutes before you move them. You don't want the hot wax to spill out of the mold when you pick them up. Then you can carefully set the molds into your refrigerator to cool them faster. After a few minutes when you look in you will see that the angels are hardened and pulling away from the edges. That is when it's time to take them out of the molds.
You may need to go around the top side of the molds and remove any little pieces or strips of wax before you try to remove them. Throw them back in the pot as well! To remove the angels, you can gently insert a table knife along the side between the angel and the mold and apply a little pressure to lift it out. It should come out easily. If it doesn't, put the mold back in the fridge for a few more minutes and then try.
These three angels are ready to fly! After taking them out, look each of them over, and if necessary you can take a paring knife and go around any edges, very carefully, and trim off any this that doesn't belong there. When the molds are empty pop them back into the fridge or freezer to get cold again. I don't know for sure what the name of these molds are, but I call them...
The Lute Angel!
The Candle Angel...
And the Star Angel!
You could hang them with a pretty ribbon just as they are, but I wanted to get some gold paint at Michael's and paint on highlights. It really adds a lot and is so relaxing and fun to paint.
I set up a painting station on my kitchen table and just sat down to paint between other activities. I ended up painting 45 angels! I handed them out to the women at church on Sunday. The looks on their faces were priceless! What fun, what fun...
May you all have a Blessed and Merry Christmas and the Best Year Ever!!