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Posts Tagged ‘beeswax’

What do you get when you want a candle that is taller than a beeswax tea light candle?  Narrower than a solid beeswax pillar candle? Wider than a Bee Light or beeswax taper candles? And doesn’t need to be burned in a container like beeswax votive candles and tealight candles?…

You get a Queen B pure beeswax Mini Pillar candle!

mini beeswax Queen B pillar candle natural happy flame for pure beeswax light

Mini Pillar candle – 100% pure beeswax

 

Sitting approximately 5cm tall and 3.2cm wide this mini-pillar burns with a beautiful, large flame (much larger than a tea light flame).  Left out (i.e. not in an enclosed space), it won’t drip.  Put in a contained space, it can consume the wax to a much wider diameter than a tea light or votive.

You can see in the video below two different uses for the mini-pillar. The jar I use in the video has an external diameter of 6.7cm. Remember to put sand in the bottom of the jar to give the candle a level surface to sit on.

 

This candle was borne of customer feedback (and a glaring hole in our range).  I’ve already put it to work getting my Page Thirty Three Oil Burner fired up (one of the draw backs of their design is that they really need a large flame to heat that volume of water and because it is very exposed).  This little pillar rises to the challenge admirably making the oil burner work a treat.  It’s a stunning looking oil burner too.

I was contemplating product development recently and took the time to prepare a process chart capturing the Product Development Cycle at Queen B.  Sometimes I wonder why I never seem to get anything done!…

Queen B product development lifecycle flowchart/diagrammatic template… let's have a meeting to discuss!

Queen B product development lifecycle flowchart… let’s have a meeting to discuss!

 

To celebrate the launch we’re doing 20% off for 24 hours only.  Blink and you’ll miss it.

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The idea of a skull candle occurred to me in about March this year when I was thinking about Earth Hour.  I wanted to create a candle that was about the interplay of humanity and nature, our interdependency and humankind’s destruction of nature… how we weep or lament the damage being caused but how there is also a fragile beauty both in nature and humans.  I wanted it to speak visually about the fire within and the glow in someone’s eyes when they’re talking about something that they’re passionate about.  [Seriously, my mind has a life of it's own, I am just a casual observer most of the time.  Note to self - stop overthinking everything]!

Anyway, from the idea I then went into designing the form that our candle would take.  A skull with vines intertwined around the head and deep, sunken eyes so that it could cry “beeswax tears” and to frame the flame (trying saying that 10 times fast with a glass of bubbles under your belt)!  From there we went into mould making and then wick testing.  About 3 months had passed by now.

Because this was such an important piece to me I commissioned a local craftsman to make wooden coffins for each of the skulls.  There’s another month.

No sooner than I had nailed the right wick and the positioning for the wick (the video below is the final wick testing video) than I raised my head to see what was going on in the world and realised that skulls had become… wait for it… trendy!  Quelle horreur.  We set trends, or eschew trends completely at Queen B, we certainly don’t follow them.  So I parked the project – and gave a couple away to friends.

Enter Matt Stone, friend and chef, who mentions them in a story in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald!  My cover was blown and the phone didn’t stop.  Even then I stuck to my guns and said we weren’t selling them!

Step in a wise soul who told me to get over myself and to allow our customers to decide.  So, it’s over to you.  With no further ado, I like to introduce you to our Limited Edition Beeswax Skull Candle (in wooden coffin).  We’ve had 50 coffins made and I’m off to have them laser engraved and numbered in the morning.  We’ll be ready to ship them by Friday (this week) – well in time for delivery prior to Christmas.  There are only 50 up for grabs.

Beeswax Skull Candle from Queen B pure beeswax candles vines adorning outside of skull candle Pure beeswax skull candle on hand made wooden coffin Pure beeswax Skull Candle from Queen B on Australian made wooden coffin

Here is a video that I took of the beeswax tears and a few of the photographs from wick testing. Eyes truly are the windows to the soul

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The video is set to one of my favourite songs which is There is a Better Place by Crazy Penis (now Crazy P) from their Album The Wicked Is Music.

Beeswax skull candle with eyes aglow as it burns

skull candle from Queen B pure beeswax candles

beeswax tears of gold from Queen B Skull Candle

Skull candle by Queen B bee wax candles

Note: there is a trick to getting the beeswax tears which is to burn the candle for 3 – 4 hours each time you light it.  The candle needs to be able to burn the full width of the skull (and hence the eye sockets) in order to lament!

Love to hear your thoughts

Cate xx

 

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Pollen

What a fabulous exercise that was!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who voted and commented and liked and tweeted and posted… the verdict is in and interestingly, both the official Judging Panel (Louise Olsen from Dinosaur Designs, Deb Bibby from Real Living Magazine and Jodie Warters from ISCD)  and the jury (you guys) came to the same conclusion.  Clearly we have very stylish customers!  Pollen, by Tina Murray-Walker, was the clear winner in both camps.

hand made, beeswax, candle, Tina Graham, Pollen, honeycomb, ISCD collaboration, Mark Tuckey

Pollen design by Tina Murray-Walker for Queen B beeswax candles – shot on location at Mark Tuckey. Artwork by David Bromley

I trundled off to one of my retailers on Saturday – fabulous, Australian manufacturer, Mark Tuckey* – with my new designs in hand and was tickled yellow to discover that we are ‘on trend’ with the colour too!  What a happy surprise.  Being ‘on trend’ has never been a great driver for me as I think that non-toxic, Australian made, beautiful designs, being real and anything to do with bees are more important than being trendy, but what a happy coincidence that in this case we can have it all!  I have to say too that making the candles on Saturday just made me feel happy.

Just before I delightedly show you “Pollen” in a myriad of ways at Mark Tuckey, a thank you to all the designers for their beautiful designs.  It is testament to the quality of their work that we had our biggest response ever to a call out for your opinions.  Special mention as runners up to Ingrid Bowen for her Fez design (which came second) and to Sandy Cipriotti for Sunburst and Brenda Deguara for Bedelia (which came equal third).

As promised when I announced the winning comment (the winner was Amanda Ingham for her post on our blog) we’re offering 20% off to anyone who posted on the blog, commented on Facebook or ‘liked’ on Instagram PRIOR to 5th November 2013 when entries closed.  Your order must be in the same name as the name you used to comment, post or like!  The 20% off offer is valid until 5pm this Friday, 15th November 2013.  Simply put your name into the comments field to alert us to your revered status (and that we need to look for your comment/like/post)!

They are available in 3 different sizes:

  • 10cm medium (10cm H x 8.5cm W) with a 50 hour burn time
  • 15cm medium (15cm H x 8.5cm W) with a 90 hour burn time
  • 20cm fat (20cm H x 10.5cm W) with a 200 hour burn time

With no further ado, it is with great pleasure that I give you Pollen…

hand made, beeswax, candle, Tina Graham, Pollen, honeycomb, ISCD collaboration, Mark Tuckey

Pollen design by Tina Murray-Walker for Queen B beeswax candles – shot on location at Mark Tuckey

hand made, beeswax, candle, Tina Graham, Pollen, honeycomb, ISCD collaboration, Mark Tuckey

Pollen design by Tina Murray-Walker for Queen B beeswax candles – shot on location at Mark Tuckey

hand made, beeswax, candle, Tina Graham, Pollen, honeycomb, ISCD collaboration, Mark Tuckey

Pollen design by Tina Murray-Walker for Queen B beeswax candles – shot on location at Mark Tuckey

hand made, beeswax, candle, Tina Graham, Pollen, honeycomb, ISCD collaboration, Mark Tuckey

Pollen design by Tina Murray-Walker for Queen B beeswax candles – shot on location at Mark Tuckey

hand made, beeswax, candle, Tina Graham, Pollen, honeycomb, ISCD collaboration, Mark Tuckey

Pollen design by Tina Murray-Walker for Queen B beeswax candles – shot on location at Mark Tuckey

hand made, beeswax, candle, Tina Graham, Pollen, honeycomb, ISCD collaboration, Mark Tuckey

Pollen design by Tina Murray-Walker for Queen B beeswax candles – shot on location at Mark Tuckey

hand made, beeswax, candle, Tina Graham, Pollen, honeycomb, ISCD collaboration, Mark Tuckey

Pollen design by Tina Murray-Walker for Queen B beeswax candles – shot on location at Mark Tuckey

hand made, beeswax, candle, Tina Graham, Pollen, honeycomb, ISCD collaboration, Mark Tuckey

Pollen design by Tina Murray-Walker for Queen B beeswax candles – shot on location at Mark Tuckey

And just because I couldn’t resist showing the full, exquisite artwork by David Bromley and some of the amazing furniture made in Australia by Mark Tuckey and his talented team…

hand made, beeswax, candle, Tina Graham, Pollen, honeycomb, ISCD collaboration, Mark Tuckey

Pollen design by Tina Graham for Queen B beeswax candles – shot on location at Mark Tuckey

* be careful clicking on the link for Mark Tuckey… I just spent an hour on their website dreaming!

You can read the profile on Tina Murray-Walker in this month’s Real Living Magazine by clicking on the image below:

Real Living magazine profile on Tina Murray-Walker ISCD Surface Design student and Queen B beeswax candle design winner

Profile on Tina Murray-Walker in this month’s Real Living magazine

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Queen B for Dinosaur Designs by Louise Olsen and Stephen Ormandy beeswax candle range

You know when you’ve wanted something for so long and when it happens you kind of have to pinch yourself?

When you’ve had your head down and your bum up for a decade and you lift your head and think ‘wow, I didn’t realise how far I’d travelled’?

How when you meet someone you’ve admired from afar you’re meant to play it really cool?

Well, this is all those things for me (apart from the fact that I’m not playing it really cool)!  I’ve admired Dinosaur Designs from afar for going on 20 years.  My sisters (who I admire) have always loved, and worn, their jewellery and bought their homewares.  I have always loved their designs and that they were Australian made.  And with 28 years under their belt hand making their wares in Australia, I admire their longevity, their ability to keep being creative and for their rolodex of friends.  Friends say a lot about a person and they seem to be surrounded by similarly passionate, intelligent, successful, beautiful (on the inside) people.

This is one of those ‘woo, woo’ stories!  Over Christmas when we shut for a few weeks, I always take some time to reflect on Queen B, and this past Christmas I reflected on the fact that the things that I have enjoyed most in the past decade have been our collaborations – Joost, Vue de Monde, Grandiflora, Bollinger, Swarovski, Dior, Penfolds, Cartier, World Wildlife Fund (Earth Hour)… there have been many, and they are the ultimate 1 + 1 = 3 testament.  I put 2 names on my list of people that I wanted to collaborate with:  Dinosaur Designs and Signature Prints (who make all the Florence Broadhurst fabrics and wallpapers… again, right here in Australia… and again, recognised globally).  And here’s the ‘woo, woo’ bit… not 48 hours back in the country I received an email from Dinosaur Designs wanting to meet.  Woo, woo – yay and woo, woo – thank you universe.

So, I’m not playing it cool, I’m stoked!  I’m excited that some of the greatest design talent in Australia has chosen to work with the best that nature has to offer (beeswax) and with this humble little business that we know as Queen B and together we’ve created something extra-ordinary.  We’re not necessarily an easy business to work with!  I won’t add colour to the beeswax (because then you’re combusting a dye… which creates emissions).  I won’t add fragrance to the beeswax (and we lose a lot of jobs because of this) because then you’re combusting an oil… which creates emissions.  I won’t use toxic inks (which means we can’t match PMS colours)!  There’s a list of things and many companies have walked away because they want scented, coloured candles.  You know you’re dealing with the company with both ethics and substance when they take that list and create something beautiful that worships nature.

OK, so I’m not being ‘cool’ at all!!

So, here they are.  They are very limited edition and you can find them at Dinosaur Designs 7 stores (including New York), at Dinosaur Designs online (where you can also pick up some of the beautiful homewares that inspired the design) or at Queen B’s hive or Queen B online.

Available in 3 different sizes and 2 different designs, with the extraordinary long burn times that you’ve come to know and love about Queen B’s pure beeswax pillar candles.  With iconic Dinosaur Designs applied to the pure beeswax wraps, they’re a beautiful and functional piece of art.:

pure beeswax hand-rolled pillar candles by Queen B for Dinosaur Designs

Queen B for Dinosaur Designs pure beeswax candle range

 

Totem
Small Beeswax Pillar Candle (50 hour burn time)
Medium Beeswax Pillar Candle  (90 hour burn time)
Large Beeswax Pillar Candle (200 hour burn time)

Boulders
Small Beeswax Pillar Candle (50 hour burn time)
Medium Beeswax Pillar Candle (90 hour burn time)
Large Beeswax Pillar Candle (200 hour burn time)

 

 

Here are a few other beautiful shots

Louise Olsen & Stephen Ormandy of Dinosaur Designs pure beeswax candles by Queen B

From Louise Olsen’s Instagram feed

 

Beeswax hand rolled pillar candle by Queen B for Dinosaur Designs

Our pure beeswax pillar candles burn down inside their individually painted wraps

 

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I recently received the full complement of photographs by Marcel Aucar of our Dom Perignon bee bottle light sculpture for Vue de Monde.   I know that pride is a sin, but is wonderment?

Even after 12 years I am still regularly blown away by the extraordinary beauty of beeswax.  It’s strength, tenacity, luminosity and its ancient wisdom.  It has occurred to me on many occasions that I work with a material that has been worked with for centuries.  A product that is the result of the hard work of literally millions of bees and their visits to flower blossoms.  It’s quite mind blowing when you think about it.

Dom Perignon beeswax bottle light sculpture for Vue de Monde

 

 

Dom Perignon beeswax bottle light sculpture for Vue de Monde

 

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Dom Perignon beeswax bottle light sculpture for Vue de Monde

 

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We’ve had quite a few kids into the hive recently which gives me the occasion to wax lyrical about all things honeybees, beeswax and honey.

The thing that usually has the most misconceptions surrounding it is what beeswax is exactly.  So, here are a few things you may not have known about beeswax…

  1. Beeswax is produced by wax glands on the underside of the abdomen of a bee.  It is clear liquid when exuded and becomes wax upon contact with air.

    Bees' wax glands

    Bees' wax glands

  2. Worker bees are usually allocated to wax production between 12 – 18 days of age! (is there something there for Gen Y perhaps?!)  The bees collect the wax with their legs and then chew it to soften it and make it malleable (to make the honeycomb structure in which they store flower nectar to ripen into honey.
  3. Beeswax is clear/white when exuded.  Discolouration occurs when the wax is stained by honey, pollen, propolis (or by beekeepers overheating the wax).  To read more about why Queen B candles are so light in colour, read our blog post on Why The White Wax Queenie?
  4. A bee makes around 10 nectar gathering trips per day (and can carry 25 – 5- milligram’s of water or nectar per trip).  Flower nectar is simply ‘unripened’ honey.  It takes 82kgs of nectar (ie around 165,000 trips) to make 1kg of honey.  In the course of those 165,000 trips, worker bees will fly around 4 million kms’ (100 times around earth).
  5. Bees consume a lot of energy in the production of wax using around 8 – 10kgs of honey to produce 1kg of wax.

This is some of the unspoken magic in every Queen B candle.  There is literally thousands of hours of bee flight and the work of thousands of honey bees in every single candle.  Don’t get me wrong, bees like to work hard.  It’s in their DNA.  They are born and literally start working immediately.  It is quite something to observe.  However it is still lovely to acknowledge that as you enjoy the beautiful golden light of your Queen B candle.

Of course, after all that hard work by our bee sisters, we treat our beeswax like gold at Queen B.  It is thoroughly washed, settled and filtered over 48 hours to remove any impurities (like pollen, propolis or dust) all of which have a massive impact on how a beeswax candle burns.  Having clean, unadulterated beeswax is just as important as finding the right wick in creating Queen B candles.

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One of the many things that I love about going to work is opening the door and smelling that lovely honey aroma.  I also love that in spring and summer, scout bees come by to check out why it smells so good (looking for a source of nectar).  They have a good fly around and smell of the candles, but we’re usually too busy to capture it.  This week I had my camera at hand just at the right moment…

 

Bee certified Queen B tealight candles

Bee-utiful beeswax tealights - Queen B style

I put in the one with the bee flying just so you didn’t think that it was a bee pin or something like that!

 

[A little lesson: In a hive of say 50,000 bees (which would be average), there is 1 queen, perhaps a hundred or so drones and 49,900 odd female worker bees.  The worker bees work from the moment they are born.  One role they take on in life is scouting for sources of nectar and pollen.  Several hundred bees may perform this task in a hive.  When they find a good source, they go back to the hive and do a 'waggle' dance or 'bum dance' to tell the other bees what direction to fly, how far to fly and how many bees should go.  NB Because beeswax has neither harvestable flower nectar, nor pollen, Queen B is not a good source, so thankfully whilst we have bees, it is rarely more than a dozen or two in a day.]

 


Queen B beeswax candles are made with 100% pure Australian beeswax a pure cotton wick and copious amounts of hand made love. We stock beautiful and stylish candle holders, personalised candles, votive candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.

Quality control supervisor of Queen B candles

 

 

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