We recently asked Michael Morris of The Bearded Candlemakers a few questions about his craft, making process and inspiration:
What do you make?
I make small batch, hand poured soy candles. Along with the making process, I also blend each of our scents using our own self-made scent profiling techniques. We even go so far as to smoke the wax we use for our Turf Fire candle with real turf.
Could you tell us a little bit about your studio? Favourite thing about the space and how do you get into the mindset of making?
The studio is built behind my home, right by the Irish Sea and with the Mourne Mountains in the distance. We used only forestry approved timber and lots of reclaimed wood. All of which has been soaking up all the scents of our candles and as soon as you step in, that smell envelops you and that is definitely my favourite thing about the space. Depending on the day there are different tasks. e.g one day could be a pouring day, the next a scent blending day or a packaging day. Each task has its own sound track (generally a movie sound track) and that's how I get into my work mode.
What is your favourite tool or process and why?
I really love pouring days. They start off with the melter getting switched on and getting filled with wax. As it heats up, all the scents trapped in the wood of the studio begin to release. All the tasks involved are quite methodical, which I love, but it's the smells of each batch as I pour that really makes me happy. Especially because each scent has a personal connection for me.
Can you describe the making process and inspiration behind your turf fire candle and Irish collection?
To start, I will get the melter on and begin to melt the wax. As it melts I will stick down the wicks into the containers. Then when the wax is at the perfect temperature, I begin to mix in the oils that I have previously blended and begin to pour...
The inspiration behind the Irish Collection was born from a desire to offer something to the Irish candle market, something that hasn't been seen before, rather than going down the route of Irish Linen or Irish.....something, I wanted to create a range of scents inspired by real places in Ireland that I have a personal connection with. I wanted to do these amazing places justice. The turf fire candle was on the top of my list, there is nothing else like it on earth and as soon as we smell it, we are reminded of home and comfort. It took months of work to perfect but it was such a rewarding project to work on.
What led you to choosing this craft as a profession? What do you love most about it?
The scent blending part of my craft is what continually inspires me, as it is ever changing and I am always learning. Even as a child, I was writing about scent and the stories around it! The thing I love most about it is choice! It sounds rather abstract but by following my passion and working harder than I ever have has allowed me to choose how to spend my time and being able to have that type of choice is awesome.
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