See the light on candles
August 27, 2019
Alina Berdnarz would like to enlighten you about candles. She sees them as beautiful accessories to embellish the home, and that’s a subject she knows quite well.
Prior to starting her own candle company, which became MacKenzie-Childs Glow in 2018, Alina worked for many years in the fashion industry, including a position working with jewelry designer Paloma Picasso on her couture collection of handbags and accessories. It was Paloma who told Alina not to be afraid to combine the unexpected in colors and textures.
That advice stuck with Alina and has inspired the fresh approach to design that is evident in our candles. The collection includes elegant and imaginative dinner, pillar, and sculptural candles, and it incorporates our signature mixing of colors and patterns, including dots, stripes and checks. There are also a variety of imaginative candle holders, as well.
Alina says producing the candles is a process that’s “a labor of love.” All the designs are either hand-painted or hand-embellished with additional pieces of wax or with textural elements, like rhinestones.
As we head into fall and spend more time indoors, Alina would encourage you to incorporate more candles into your environment. Candles, she says, do add warmth to the home, making it feel like it’s a sanctuary and a place to rest and renew. “Candles are known for their soothing, healing properties that create a peaceful ambiance. That gentle glow helps ease and soothe the mind,” Alina says.
MacKenzie-Childs Glow candles are made from different top-quality waxes, which are sometimes blended, and each wax has different characteristics.
Beeswax, which Alina considers the “cashmere” of waxes, is the oldest and most luxurious of waxes and most the expensive wax to produce because it’s made by honeybees. Alina says bees must fly 15,000 miles to visit millions of blossoms to collect enough nectar to produce 60 pounds of honey, which yields one pound of beeswax, which is just enough for one dinner candle. Beeswax is somewhat sticky and pliable, so it is easily embellished and can be rolled into shape. Paraffin is slicker than beeswax and is often combined with other waxes, including palm wax, which is made from palm oil.
To get the most from your candles, Alina advises that you should burn them regularly and not just on special occasions. Pay close attention to the initial burn of a candle, too. New candles should burn an hour per inch of diameter to get a good even burn without the wax pooling.
More candle-burning and care tips:
- Keep wicks trimmed to one-quarter inch before lighting and relighting. A quick snip with a pair of scissors will do the job.
- Burn candles away from drafts or air conditioning vents so that they burn cleanly and evenly. Also, remember to never burn candles on or near anything that could catch fire.
- When your candles are ready to extinguish, use a candle snuffer. Blowing a candle out can splatter the wax.
- To keep your candles standing straight in their candle holders, drip a little wax into the bottom of the candle holder and then insert the candle. You can also put a little craft clay into the bottom of the candle holder before you add the candle.
- Use a bobeche to keep melting wax in check and protect your candleholders and tablecloths from drips. Bobeches slide easily over the candle and rest on top of the candleholder. If wax drips down on the candle, place the candle in the freezer and the drips will pop off.
- Finally, remember to keep candles out of reach of children and pets.
Now, you’re ready to enlighten every occasion. Invoking her accessories background, Alina says candles are the ultimate finishing touch. “Candles are earrings for the home,” she says. “They’re the music and the flowers of the room. They add so much ambiance.”