Candlemaker speaks at Golden K meeting
By JOAN JOUPPI
For The Daily News
KINGSFORD — Through the white swirling fluffy snow came the Golden K members making their way to the fellowship room at the First Presbyterian Church in Kingsford for their Monday meeting. One never knows how much influence these seniors carry, however, they have been singing about the “Winter Wonderland” for a week and here it is. Kind of makes one wonder.
Chairperson for December, Joan Jouppi, opened the meeting. Under the dexterous fingers of pianist Sue LeDuc and the proficient directing ability of Margaret Trudell the Golden Kers sang many Christmas carols.
Helen Sauld, as guest speaker, and Kathy Arnold, RSVP director, were sang the Welcome song. Alyce Derwinski, a member, was given a warm welcome back by several members. Though still on the mend, it was nice to see her.
Happy Birthday wishes to Dr. Paul Jacobs, Dec. 13 and Leon Gospodarek, Dec. 16. Happy Anniversary to Paul and Myrna Ward on Dec. 18. Don Pedo was a very happy man as he won the 50/50 drawing. Among the happy thoughts for the day was one from Vance and Darlene Uhazie who just enjoyed their grandson helping to direct a Christmas concert in Appleton.
Shirley Winters, as program chairperson, introduced the guest speaker, Helen Sauld, who is a long time neighbor and friend, shared her candle making experiences with the Golden K. After retirement she looked for a hobby to keep her active. Among her many achievements, she stumbled onto candle making.
Now it may sound easy to make a candle, however, as Sauld discovered it requires experimenting, learning and developing your creativity. Finding the right ingredients entailed finding a good supplier. In acquiring molds, wicks and other necessary equipment, she soon discovered this was not an easy project. Determined to make these candles, she developed her own technique. She found silicone makes the best molds and experimented with various containers to hold the wax such as PVC pipe, coffee cans, and milk cartons. One of her candles, called a stick candle, is made from a mold Sauld makes after someone brings her a stick or two from the woods. The stick candle burns uniquely while dripping around the shape of a stick. She uses various molds to make different shapes, sizes and color combinations. She also uses various objects in her candles such as chunks of old waxes, stain glass, and even coffee.
Sauld has found soy wax to be a good burning source without having to contend with any black smoke residue. Some waxes burn hotter than others. Some burn quicker than others. Some have animal fats in them that leave that black soot along the rim of the candle holder. She also mentioned melting older candles and re-using them can cause black smoke and residue that floats through the air. Sauld decided she prefers working with soy in comparison with other waxes.
Wicks were a challenge on their own. Centering and getting the right materials for wicks became important for the candles ability to burn evenly. Helen uses a variety of sizes for wicks acclimated to the size and type of candle she is designing. She also has wick-less candles in which she places a glass container which holds a votive within the candle. This gives the ambiance of a burning candle preserving the outer beauty of a well crafted candle. These candles burn only the votive which can be replaced, leaving the candle itself in its original shape.
Sauld suggests anyone doing candle-making should have a craft room. She currently uses her kitchen much to the discomfort of her husband, who may be banned from the kitchen until she completes her project. Candle making cannot be stopped in the middle or be put on hold while lunch is prepared.
During the summer months, she can work outside, freeing up the kitchen for a hungry husband.
Sauld presented an impressive display of her various candles, explaining how each one was made. She answered many questions from this group. Her candles are unique and different from the ordinary. With her many experiments, she surprises even herself with new innovative ideas.
The Golden Throats sing Wednesday at Freeman’s. On Monday, the Golden K will be holding its annual special needs children Christmas party at the First Presbyterian Church in Kingsford. Members are asked to begin set-up at 8:30 a.m. The children arrive around 11 a.m. Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus are expected as well as “Mindy’s Band” to entertain.