Candle carving is the art of shaping candles, which when dipped in multiple colours of wax, are peeled back to reveal the colours within. Carved candles can resemble animals, lace and floral designs. There are not many tools needed to practice the art of candle carving. There are many stores that cater to the candle artist and most of these tools can also be found at hobby stores.
The first tool any candle carver needs is a core mould. This is a metal mould you pour the wax into and then allow it to dry. The core mould comes in a variety of shapes from star pillars, to tapers, to round pillars. Choose your core mould based on the size and shape of the candle you wish to carve. Each core mould will have precise instructions on the temperature the melted wax must be to use with the mould. Core moulds have a wooden peg inside the mould to hold a plastic tube inside the candle. This allows you to hold the candle as it is carved and dipped.
A candle handle is a device that inserts in the plastic tube embedded in the candle. It expands inside the tube and has a ring at the end. This allows you to hang, hold and dip the candle as you carve it without touching the actual candle.
A melting vat is where the coloured wax is melted for the core candle to be dipped in. You need one vat or vat section for each colour you want to use. Melting vats are metal boxes with a heating element in the bottom to keep the wax in a liquid state.
Pigment Candle Dyes
Pigment candle dyes are small blocks of colour used to colour wax for dipping candles. These are melted with the wax in the melting vats. Pigment candle dyes are used because the colours will not bleed into other colours used on the dipped candle.
Candle Carving Racks or Hangers
Carving racks or hangers made of wood or metal are a frame with a hook for the candle handle. Some versions also have a rotating platform on which to place the dipped candle. This allows the carver to hang the candle and rotate it without touching the actual candle as you carve it. This prevents finger impressions in the candle. Some racks have measurement guides to help you carve the candle in specific designs. These racks also have slits to allow the chisels and knives full access to the candle.
Chisels and Knives
Chisels and knives for candle carving are usually sold as sets. Each tool has a metal head shaped in a different way. Some are for cutting, others for scraping, and some for twisting wax as you cut if off the candle to reveal the colour. Bottom cutting tools and top cutting tools allow you to level the candle and remove drippings. Marking tools allow you to mark the candle where you would like to cut it using the guides on the rack.