profile : quiescence candles

Gorgeous in their simplicity, Quiescence candles are made from soy wax (no nasty chemicals here!) and are housed in a cleverly and purposefully chosen collection of recycled glassware. The candles are scented with pure essential oil blends….delightfully delicate, the scents are decadent and gently uplifting at the same time. Lovely lady behind the label Kate Allen, handcrafts all of her products, pouring each candle into its one-off jar or glass container. Quiescence candles look lovely on their own, but we have to say, rather stunning in twos or threes!

Do you have a day job, if so what is it?
I studied science and have worked as a researcher in agriculture for the last ten years. This is now a part-time job that I balance with Quiescence Candles.

When did your business begin and why?
I poured my first candle almost three years ago and enjoyed the intricate process of paring up wicks and containers, melting wax, checking temperatures, blending oils - to my mind it was a bit like cooking (I prefer to follow recipes exactly and use precise measurements!). That year I made candles to give as gifts to friends and family. I have always had an appreciation for things handmade, and it was a great way to experiment with something new, and to receive honest feedback from people close to me whose input I value and am guided by. My background has helped me to understand the physical properties of the materials I work with, and problem-solve some of the many challenges that soy wax can present, but I have also learned to be guided by my intuition and accept that there will always be variations from one candle to the next, no matter how accurate my measuring is.

Inspiration/design aesthetic?
My inspiration comes from all things natural and respectful to the environment, expressed foremost through the use of recycled jars, and decision to use soy wax and pure essential oils. When I first started making candles I used empty jars and bottles that I already had in the cupboard, instead of buying new glassware. I quickly developed a love for the vast shapes and designs and started going to junk shops and garage sales in search of unique and appealing containers that have had a previous life. Fowlers Vacola jars, an iconic Australian brand, were the usual suspects on my travels. The imperfections in the glass hint to the years of use they have had and create a unique finished product. It is important to me that the beautiful glasses and jars stay in circulation and continue to be used long after the candle has been enjoyed.

Designers you admire?
Anyone who shares their creativity with the world. I have a huge respect for the relationship that craftspeople have developed with their chosen tools and materials.

What do you love about what you do...and any little gripes or niggles?
The people I meet. The experience of collecting preserving jars has been more enjoyable than I could have imagined. I feel lucky to have the opportunity to connect with people who once enjoyed preserving as ‘a way of life’, and to recreate the story of each glass for another generation. The interactions with people at the market, whether they are seeing my candles for the first time, or are returning with an empty jar, is also a very rewarding feeling.

What can our lovely customers expect to see you exhibiting?
Each of my candles is hand crafted, and poured into a one-off jar or glass container that has been purposefully collected. I retail my Fowlers Vacola range of candles through a small number of stockists as well as the market, but I also bring an assortment of vintage glassware candles to the market that are distinctive in their shape, colour and design. Lots of thought and energy has gone into sourcing these, and I hope people enjoy the fun in finding something unique!

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