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Light For My Path

By Kate Minnich • Writer & Designer Published: December 1, 2015 12:00 AM
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The art of candle making is not widely practiced, but Mary Troyer has made the art into her profession. Mary began her candle making career at Walnut Creek Candles out of Berlin, where she learned the basics. With the closure of Walnut Creek Candles, Mary gathered all the signature candles and opened her own business. One such signature candle was the muffin. True to its name this candle is shaped like a muffin down to the whipped topping or 'icing'. In November of 2013, Mary began her own candle making business and opened Light For My Path.

Light For My Path offers a wide selection of candles in various scents and sizes. All of the candles are hand crafted by Mary in the back room from the melting of the wax to the packaging. Offering many different types of candles, the store contains original and new ideas. The typical single color jar candle will be found in more scents than the mind can conceive, but the unusual candles filtered throughout the store will inspire anyone's curiosity. Candles shaped like muffins and cakes are among the more popular items.

The type of candle Mary is making dictates the type of wax she melts down. Pillar wax has a higher melting point than jar wax which makes it better suited for freestanding candles, or candles not contained within a jar. Due to the higher melting point the wax is able to stay together longer thus keeping its shape for a longer period of time.

Both the pillar and jar wax are made from paraffin wax rather than beeswax because of the improved smoke and perfume levels. A paraffin wax candle will burn longer than other candles and will emit less smoke. By keeping the wicks trimmed, the smoke from the paraffin candles will be little to none. The amount of perfume Mary can add to a candle is ruled by the amount of oil present in the wax. Typically, the paraffin wax has less oil which allows for more perfume. The more perfume present within the candle, the longer the smell will be emitted.

Mary mixes the perfume with the paraffin wax in order to maintain the smell through the entire burning of the candle. Pouring the perfume into the wax right after it has been melted, Mary then places the molten liquid into a mold or jar. This is the first pour the candle will receive, all except the smallest of candles will have two rounds of melted wax and perfume. The second round of wax is done so as to top off the candle and stop the top from sinking toward the center. Many other candle companies will only place the perfume in this second layer of wax resulting in a limited smell experience. Mary works hard to ensure the smell of each candle is maintained as long as possible.

Various perfumes line the shelves at Light For My Path, many of which are Mary's own concoction. Often times the perfumes that Mary purchases don't smell like their description and it requires her knowledge to perfect their scent. The cappuccino perfume arrived originally smelling like burned coffee, but after a lot of trial and error, Mary was able to modify the perfume to smell closer to the cappuccino scent.

Specialty candles are a breed all their own where the creation process is concerned. Mary's muffin and cake candles are also poured twice but with two different wax types. The base of the muffin and the core of the cake are created using pillar wax in order to maintain the shape of the piece. After the pillar wax has cooled, generally sitting for three hours, the second layer of jar wax is added. For these two specialty candles, the jar wax is whipped up with an egg beater in order to achieve that icing look. Mary places the 'icing' on the muffins with a fork sometimes adding bits of sprinkles to give the muffin a more realistic feel. The 'icing' for the cakes is carefully molded onto the pillar wax with Mary's hands, creating a fluffed surface similar to the icing on a cake.

The wick of a candle is dependent on the diameter and depth of each creation. In order to ensure the wick within her jar candles is centered, Mary will glue the wick's metal base to the bottom of the jar using silicon. This makes certain the wick will not move as the wax is poured into place. For candles of a wider diameter, a hotter wick is used so that the heat will be distributed evenly throughout the candle.

Candles that are created using a mold, such as the muffin, cake and freestanding candles, do not receive their wick until after they are completed and cooled. Each mold has a thin medal spike rising from the center, this spike created the hole for the wick. Once the wax has cooled the candle will be taken out of the mold, leaving a small whole through the center. Mary then inserts her wick through the whole and packages the finished candle.

Beyond the candles that can be burned, Mary also carries the sensory burners and special collection of electric candles. Mary employs more molds to make the wax melting tablets for the sensory burners. Using the same methods as her other candles, Mary adds the perfume and hot wax to the molds. Once cooled, the tablets can be knocked from the mold and packaged. A new type of candle being offered by Light For My Path is an battery powered candle featuring a favorite picture. Attaching any picture to the base candle, the end result is a personalized piece to be treasured for a life time.

Light For My Path is a candle store first and foremost, offering solutions to all candle needs and yearnings. Offering specialty, jar or freestanding candles, Mary Troyer presents a beautiful store perfumed by lovely candles. Take in your own container to have it filled or pick up an entirely new candle. The choice is yours.

Light For My Path is located at 8142 TR. 574, Holmesville, OH 44633 and open Mon., Tues., Wed., Fri., or Sat., from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. And Thurs. by chance or appointment.

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