paraffin, stearin, bees wax
Duration: 27.12.19 - 28.12.19
Product: Engels Kerzen is producing in- and outdoor candle products. They are also manufacturing ornamentations for christening candles as well as scented candles in all sizes and shapes.
By-product: During the production of wax products, an undefined and impure mixture of paraffin, stearin and bees wax accumulates. Also, there are damaged candles that are not meeting the quality standards. All this material is remolten and poured into standardised panels. Engels Kerzen GmbH is selling them to a pitch torch factory.
Inspiration: This project was inspired by the production for the installation V(t) in collaboration with Leon Schniewind for Passagen 2019. The fabricated wax objects were also made in this candle factory out of by-product material. Instead of solely returning the wax after the installation, I wanted to reuse the material and produce objects for my thesis.
Organisation: Since we organized a successful collaboration with Engels Kerzen GmbH before, they were immediately willing to support me in my final thesis.
Potentials: One material property of wax is that it can easily be melted over and over again. When its liquid, it can be moulded in any shape and size. Since the company is producing their own products, they have all kinds of moulds available. The main potential in this project is the timing. As my production is taking place during the Christmas Holidays, I am not disturbing any daily business with my project.
Challenges: Being completely on my own in the factory was a challenge. Due to the heavy weight of the solid wax objects, it was physically exhausting to melt them down by myself.
Goals: In this collaboration, I wanted to produce lamps from wax. With an LED tube that is wired from one side, I could illuminate a translucent wax cylinder up to 150cm. Because this technology is not producing any heat, the hollow wax cylinder will stay intact.
Production: I aimed to use two different kinds of by-products for the lamp to emphasize the contrast between translucent and non-translucent material. The first pouring process was for the translucent wax. I produced two hollow wax cylinders by using a PVC pipe for the positive and another smaller PVC pipe for the negative space. In the next step, these components were put in a bigger tube to produce a stabilising foot and a cap from non-translucent wax. To apply the production process of multi stage wax pouring further, I also produced some stools.
Reflexion: For the non-translucent wax material I wanted to use discarded bees wax from the laboratories of a supplier of Engels Kerzen GmbH, the Wachs und Ceresin- Fabrik TH.C. Tromm GmbH Köln. Before I went to Engels Kerzen GmbH the second time, Tromm GmbH supported me with around 10kg of by-product wax. Unfortunately, I had to discover, that bees wax is very hard to remove from moulds. Usually, when paraffin or stearin wax is cooling, it is shrinking to a certain extent, making it easy to demould. The sticky bees wax on the contrary has different drying properties. The shrinkage is barely noticeable. After several vain attempts of pouring and removing the bees wax, I had to abandon the idea of using it in this project.
Prospect: Reflecting on my isolated working circumstances in the factory, I would not like to work totally on my own in the future. Since the process had a certain desperation part to it, I would like to be companioned by someone with whom I can exchange constructive ideas with. The multi stage wax pouring technique could be applied to more variations and dimensions.
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