Wednesday, October 28, 2015

How to make a great candle: New DOUBLE FRAGRANCEtm Pillars.

We have been making candles since 1971. Actually Kent Buttermann and two close friends started the business back then. The candle designs have changed quite a lot over the years from 36" tall dipped taper candles, to sand cast candles to decorator shapes and colors and fragrances.

Over the years we have learned a lot about the various typed of waxes, wicks and quality of fragrances. Candle making is a combination of art and science to create a design that will not only look beautiful but perform beautifully. A candle has a big job to do - burn cleanly, last a long time and deliver gorgeous glowing romantic results.

Candlelight is always welcome and appreciated, no matter the occasion or time of year. Candle trends come and go, just like the drippy 36" tapers and sand cast to choices in today's markets.

You may often see filled container of various sizes and shapes. Many people refer to jar candles as candles. That is where real candle makers have to draw the line. Jar or container candles are fine. But are they real?
As a matter of fact, it takes a good candle maker to produce a well made jar candle - have you ever purchased one and the candle flame is so large it's like scary torch and the wick burns so much liquid wax that the jar gets too hot and cracks? Not good.

It is really important to NEVER LEAVE A BURNING CANDLE UNATTENDED - EVER. It's not OK to light a candle in the bathroom and forget about it. It's not OK to light a candle in the family room and fall asleep in front of the TV.

So with a simple common sense approach, candlelight still gives the most romantic ambiance. Adds a touch of class to dinners and are lovely gifts any time of the year.

Like fashion trends, colors and fragrances have trends all their own. These days fragrance is king again. But today's fragrances are interesting blends carefully crafted to bring layers or "notes" of fragrances together to offer a sophisticated aroma.

Our new DOUBLE FRAGRANCETM pillar candles are really wonderful because we figured out how to increase the fragrance in our formula so you are going to get real true fragrance from start to finish. How to burn a pillar candle? Yes, there is a best way. Start by burning the candle about the same number of hours as the diameter of the candle ~ a 3" candle burns about 3 hours the first time to start the wick on the right path down the candle. Always trim the wick to 1/4" each and every time you relight the candle.

With the inspiration of fall colors, we decided on three most popular fragrances for our new #DoubleFragrance candles - Pumpkin Latte, Apple Crisp and Gingerbread. We know you will love them.

 The background in the photo of the Apple Crisp was provided by Steve Webb. 

His company is part of our candle factory artisans cooperative group of artists and crafts people within the candle factory building. Be sure to see his web site:

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sunflowers, Sunflowers, Sunflowers - lovely for fall and just about anytime of the year!
This is a photo I took on a walk around Watson Lake here in Prescott, Arizona. It is a wide meandering watery area with big cottonwood trees and home to migrating birds of all kinds. If you  look closely, jut to the left of the tall sunflower, you will see two white birds - I think they are herons.
There are large fields of the flowers everywhere. 

We sell thousands of our #sunflowercandles to folks all over the country - all year long - I think simply because they bring a smile to your face. They are used sometimes for weddings and make it so easy to create a centerpiece. We make our candles unscented or with a light floral fragrance. 

We not only make candles but we do our own photography. If we didn't make candles, I think we would be happy just wandering around taking pictures! Sunflowers are so much fun to work with. I was excited to find that old washboard with the name "Sunnyland" on the top. 
Such a perfect flea market find. 

That brings me to the idea that you can use just about anything as a container for floating candles. Try vintage glass bowls or...
Make your centerpiece your own personal creation - we lend a hand with lovely candles, you take it from there.
This is our Sunflower display in the candle store - at the candle factory. 

We have been making sunflower floating candles for years and decided to create pillar candles to match! 

The pillar candles are hand poured, naturally, so no two are exactly alike. The bands of brown color may be slightly larger or smaller.

The photo is linked to our web site and the sunflower candle page for your convenience.

This photo was taken back on the candle making table where I piled up lots of candles next to the molds. 

We created the original design years ago and we also made all of the molds so our design will be perfectly detailed with consistent quality. 

The molds are made of silicone rubber and, as you can see, they are really thick. Even so, they are pliable and can withstand the hot wax. 

We make sunflowers every day!

Thank you for choosing American craftsmanship. 
Thank you for choosing Armadilla Wax Works' candles. We appreciate it!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Orange Cinnamon scented candles are a "delicious" choice for fall.

 Orange Cinnamon

When it gets close to the end of the summer, when school starts, we look for signs of fall - maybe some fashions are appearing in the clothing stores, maybe it's just wishful thinking.  This is one of our most popular fragrance collections actually all year long but certainly this time of the year because of the rusty orange color. Another reason this fragrance blend is so appealing is because it combines two fragrances that were simply meant to be together. 

Our cinnamon is zesty and  true to that aroma when you open a jar of fresh cinnamon sticks. Here in the West, we love citrus - oranges, lemons, grapefruit, limes..Our orange fragrance is slightly sweet, just like you expect it to be - with that freshness of a juicy slice of fruit. 

If you love to burn candles, this is the candle collection for you. You might like to try our richly scented wax potpourri to use in your melter pot - you only need a few pieces and our potpourri can be remelted for weeks. 

You may like to scatter several votive candles in little votive cups  throughout the house or even the office. You will notice our signature "fire bead" texture on our pillar candles. This is our artisan touch made right in the individual candle molds. 

Remember to always use heat resistant candle holders and never leave a burning candle unattended. 

These are some of our candle molds - you can see that they are definitely used on a regular basis. We use silicone rubber to make our molds because it is flexible and gives us the opportunity to get the textures and design details we want in our candles. 
We use highly refined paraffin wax and cotton wick - all are coordinated to provide a clean long burning candle.

This is a top view of one of our stainless steel wax melting tanks. Each tank holds several different sizes of inner tanks so we can melt the measured amounts of colors and fragrances for each type of candle. All of our tanks are designed for safety of course, with temperature controls to maintain just the right melting point. 

Our candles are hand crafted - we carefully pour and finish each candle to maintain consistent quality.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Armadilla Artisans studios, workspaces and shops!

You may have heard about "#Shop Local" promotions in your area - keeping your local economy thriving by supporting local independently owned retailers, artists and restaurants. These unique businesses and creative musicians and artists give your community the home town personality that appeals to tourists as well as residents. It makes a real financial impact and encourages a sense of pride when we support our local companies. Businesses that represent a connection to their place for many years. 

The #ArmadillaWaxWorks is one such company. Founded in old town Tempe in 1971 and still designing and making hand crafted candles here in Arizona - we often like to say: Arizona's candle makers since 1971". With loyal customers these many years, the candle store, at the workshop in Prescott Valley, is expanding to welcome artists and crafts people to share spaces with us.     Come see us: 2651 N. Industrial Way, Prescott Valley, AZ 86314
We are creating an environment for collaboration and creativity for people who are serious about their work and makers of great stuff. 

We are looking for artists and crafts people who may have out grown their home based studio, kitchen or garage and are looking for more space or maybe just a space that will allow a sort of "incubation" of ideas and a connection with other makers and customers. 

We are proud to showcase the following companies:
POLKA GOAT FARM  - Korie makes simply divine and colorful nourishing soaps and lotions from gentle goat's milk and other natural ingredients.
  Her unique soap making process creates large bars of soap with swirls of colors to coordinate with the fragrance blends. The soap takes several weeks to cure and provides weeks of rich lathering fragrance soap. Using a professional mixer, she makes large batches of lotions that are so nourishing, you only need a small dab to moisturize your dry skin - and honestly, here in Arizona, this is a big deal!      

WEBB'S WEATHERED WOOD - Steve specializes in using reclaimed weathered pallet wood for his hanging garage doors and home decor items. Each door is custom made and his wall plaques and trays are hand crafted with no two items exactly alike.



Hot plate to finish and level pillars.
Votive candle molds.
Here are a few "tools of the trade" that are indispensable to making Armadilla Wax Works' candles. Over the years we have
learned how to use a durable rubber
mold material to create a signature texture or detailed designs.

Pillar candle molds.

All of our candles are hand
poured and we do not use
paints for some of the swirls
of color - everything is wax.

This is one of our most popular #floatingcandles.
This hibiscus candle is 5" diameter, unscented and can be used in a pool, pond or great big punch bowl as a table-top centerpiece. For a tropical summer party theme, our #hibiscus and our #waterlily candles are very beautiful.

Thank you for shopping local and supporting your local artists, crafts people, musicians and restaurants. On behalf of Armadilla Wax Works, Webb's Weathered Wood and Polka Goat Farm ...we thank you!

For information about spaces available, please come by or give us a call: 928-772-1898

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Making sunflowers candles and ideas on how to create a display. Who doesn't love Sunflowers?

One of our most favorite candles and flowers: SUNFLOWERS! So charming and versatile for any season and special occasion.
 Here at the candle factory we make hundreds of sunflowers every week - you see two sizes - a 5" diameter size which is great for a birdbath, pool or big punch bowl - and a 3" diameter that is just right for single place settings or in a group in a centerpiece bowl.
    We took this photo showing how sunflower floating candles can be used in several different types of bowls. It's fun to use flea market finds and mix 'n match your centerpiece!
   When we talk about "hand crafted" ~ the candle factory starts with our own original designs created in molds we have made right at the candle factory. The candles are made by pouring hot wax into the molds with careful attention to timing and the details of the mold. Of course the #sunflowers are two colors - some molds are one color and some are even three colors. We do not use any paint - all of the colors are wax. This is one of the techniques that makes our candles uniquely Armadilla wax Works' designs and quality craftsmanship.


We even take our own photographs of our candles for our web site and store displays.

Taking photographs of floating candles can be a challenge because they sometimes like to float around - they don't stay in one spot for long. We hold our breath and turn off the air conditioning so there are no drafts to cause the flames to flicker when we take the shot. Of course, in your home setting, the flickering candle flames are the added charm of the display sending amazing reflections through out the container and around the room!

Saturday, May 16, 2015
We have launched a brand new web site for wedding and event planners with our most popular candles for elegant candlelight. White or ivory unscented candles.

Check out

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Candlelight puts the "special" in special events, especially wedding reception parties.
The amazing 3" round candle is your basic building block for a simply elegant centerpiece. This versatile candle can be used in a glass cylinder, nestled in a bed of sand, salt or floating in a glass bowl. 
You'll notice a thin layer of salt in the sand in the cylinder on the left to give it a modern look - other types of "nesting" materials can be used - we suggest a contrasting color such as brown rice or dry black beans, for example, would be striking! You can decide the level of the candle and flame by the depth of the sand. Adding a few accents can be fun and personalize your creation. 

Of course the humble #round candle is 
traditionally used as a floating candle but here we used several flea market finds as candle holders. With or without water, you will see dazzling reflections through the glass. We like different heights and shapes as well in a centerpiece setting or scattered down the length of a dining table. 
Keep it simple with a square glass container loosely wrapped with a ribbon to coordinate with your color theme. Unscented white and ivory candles go with everything!

Below is a dramatic gold bowl discovered in a thrift store that was simply irresistible. This centerpiece would become the center of attention at your party! This big bowl is large enough to hold 4 (or maybe more) candles - the more candle flames to glow through the glass, the better. 
Remember that the candles burn out a circle in the center of the candle and the heat goes straight up so the glass will not be harmed in the least. At the end of the evening, simply pour out the water and the remains of the candles will flow out - dry the glass and it's ready for another party! believe in the quality and integrity of American craftsmanship. 
Our candles are made by hand in our small candle factory in Northern Arizona. 
Every candle is made from original designs that we created using our own molds. 
Artisan craftsmanship lends quality to our candles that cannot be found anywhere else.

We make beautiful hand-poured floating event candles for table-top centerpieces, garden pools and ponds and amazing reusable luminarias.     We share your passion for perfection in every detail.
We ship quickly because the perfect wedding day or special event for your family and friends requires perfect candlelight. #wedding planners are most welcome to contact us to establish an account for your business because you can count on us for great candles and service.