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spacer Light: Lemanja Candle spacer  

Narrative: Lemanja Candle

I purchased this candle in Rio de Janeiro on the street during Lemanja to celebrate the goddess of water. Instead of using it as an offering I saved it and brought it back to Manhattan, and then to Brooklyn.

60 percent paraffin, 35 percent stearic acid, and 5 percent beeswax. Some candles contain small amounts of candelilla or carnauba waxes (from the carnauba palm) to regulate the softening or melting point of the finished wax. Beeswax candles are made of only pure insect wax and paraffin plus a small amount of stiffening wax. The wick is made of a high grade of cotton or linen. The material is woven (or braided) so that it will burn in one direction and will curl so that its end remains in the candle flame's oxidizing zone for even and intense burning. Often, wire-core wicks are used. These wicks have a wire center that allows them to burn slightly hotter than cotton and remain erect in the melted wax. The cotton or linen wicks are braided and then treated with chemicals or inorganic salt solutions so that they bend at a 90 degree angle when burning. This angle allows the end to remain in the outer mantle of the flame and causes it to be shortened naturally. If the wick is not treated, it will burn too quickly and the flame will be extinguished by the melted wax. One method of forming candles is to extrude the wax through a die of the desired shape. A wick bobbin feeds wick into the center of the mold so that the wax forms around the wick. Unlike molding, extrusion forms one continuous length of candle that must be cut into the proper sizes.





  mary mattingly