Big Ceramic Store Blog

Functional and Decorative Log Candle - Part 1

Who doesn't love a beautiful candle? Not only do they add character to your home, but they work well in a power outage! Don't depend on those generic candles you picked up at the grocery store... keep one on display and it's at the ready if needed.

Today's project is a little tougher than some that we've done in the past but it's well worth the effort! Ps... we will begin the project today and finish it off in Part 2.

So grab your coffee, put on your best creative hat, and follow me to the studio!

Let's start with the basics... you will need a good clay for handbuilding and/or sculpting.

  • I prefer a speckled clay for the added character of the deep speckles.
  • I also use a white clay for the flower, since it's easier to give color, and most flowers have a fluid color without speckles

As for the balance of supplies, you will need a few simple items like a needle tool, sponge/water, paint brush, roller, newspaper, and possibly a few others.

Roll out a piece of clay to roughly 1/4" thick and add a "wood grain" texture.

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I happen to have a nice piece of metal I picked up from a local welder that has the perfect grain pattern, but you can pick up a  textured mat on our website, or hand carve your own pattern. By the way... the 8"x 12" textured mat is a great size for this project!

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The next thing you want to do is make a "well" for the candle oil. I generally just make a pinch pot and shape it to my project. In this case, I made it fairly rectangular.

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Now that you've made the well, it's time to attach it to your slab. Simply score/slip the rim and the slab and attach it. I also wrap a clay band around it to make sure it is secure.

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Smooth the band around the well.

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Ok... you're ready to start rolling the clay into a log. This is where the newspaper comes in handy. Fill the cavity as you go so your log holds it's shape. Be sure to score/slip the seam well so it doesn't open during the firing process.

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After the seam is sealed, roll the log over, and determine where your want the hole for the candle wick (inside the well of course), and cut it out.

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If you take notice, the outline of my well is prominent. That's ok... we want it to be so we can accent the log with a knot by adding a coil of clay around it and smoothing it out.

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Add some clay shreds to the knot by wetting a paint brush and mushing them together for a rough texture. This is where the Mudtools Small Shredder and fettling knife come in handy!

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Join me next week for the finishing act!

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