Each Saturday I focus on a different artist that I admire. From potters to painters, chefs to collectors, seamstress to songwriters, lifestyle to lovers... anyone who set the paintbrush, pastry brush, hands and heart on fire to create.
Those who inspire art to flow where it may.
Discover one of the last remaining Candle Makers where candles are still made as they were in the 15th century.
"The “Living Heritage Company” is installed in a large warehouse in Tarascon’s industrial park, a very modern place for an ancient tradition.
La Ciergerie - The Candle Maker was created in 1858 by the White Canons or Premonstratensians established in the Frigolet Abbey between Avignon and Tarascon.
In 1903, the Monks of White Canons left France for Belgium and Great Britain and they sold The Candle Maker to Monsieur Chabrier, who set up the workshop in the old stables in the heart of his Provençal village, Graveson."
"The handmade candles attracted churchmen as well as enthusiasts, the quality work, and the reputation of the candlemaker grew until the day.
In October 2009, a fire devastated the handsome workshop, destroying dozens of wax molds. Stéphane Richard the owner of Tissus Souleiado in Tarascon bought the company, rapidly setting up in this functional site at the entrance to the village in order to open in December a new workshop-boutique.
The Candle Maker was saved, and production continued with the same expertise."
"Presently, there are six young, passionate and proud Master Candle Makers. One of them, Christophe, concentrates on the finishing touches of the immense church candles, revealing two 15th-century manufacturing techniques:
“Dipped” candles produce conical candles. Cotton wicks are stretched on a frame and plunged repeatedly into a wax bath at 70°C until the desired diameter is achieved.
The second technique requires real dexterity. Each Master Candle Maker has his own technique, but the gesture must be precise, he must continuously ensure the even distribution of the wax when he ladles the wax on wicks suspended from a hoop and gauge the candles diameter…"
Visits and tours are available at La Ciergerie.
"A candle over fifty inches high and nearly 3 inches in diameter
requires one week to make."
Wax prepared to be poured on the candles.
Now if only I can find one of those ladles from the 1600s at the brocante....
"Molds, are also used, which allows for the fabrication of novelty candles of varied shapes and styles. Such molds were introduced twenty years ago.
Original translucent candles are also designed at the Ciergerie, with the incorporation of Soleiado fabric, photos, assorted hues of wax, or colored candle rounds."
Cierges - CIERGERIE DES PREMONTRES
Candles made traditionally, as they were in the Abbey hundreds of years ago, can be bought online, varied sizes, shapes and colors.
I particular like the darker shades. Various shades, pastels to brightly colored candles are available.
For more information contact:
Ciergerie de l’Abbaye des Prémontrés
20 rue des Charpentiers
ZA du Roubian
T 04 90 99 59 34
Also at Souleiado: