[Image credits: Swazi Candles]
In the mountainous countryside of the Kingdom of Swaziland a disused cowshed in a former dairy was turned into a candlemaking workshop that has become a local tourist attraction as visitors from all over the world stop by to see the production process and an array of unique candles. Whether round or triangular, animal or fruit; carved or hand-painted Swazi Candles are created and finished by hand meaning no two will be the same.
Swazi Candles was established in 1981 and soon began training and employing members of the local community in the art of candle making. The candles are made using a layered technique called millefiore, which is more commonly associated with Italian Murano and Venetian glass, commonly seen in the rare, and highly sought-after African Trade beads that became a popular form of trade currency in North and West Africa; where local varieties were also created. Applying the glass technique to wax has resulted in colourful and uniquely patterned works of art. The candles are formed from a slow-burning hard wax outer shell that serves to preserve the designs; whilst the softer inner burns quicker creating a soft illuminating glow as it hollows out leaving behind a space that can be refitted with a tea light or votive to recreate the effect.