January 2002
Volume 3, Issue 1
Wild Life Wine Cup Candle

By Deirdre Woodward Sanders

Editor's Letter | Letters to the Editor | Beginners' Corner | A Day at a Craft Fair | Thank You Cards | Wild Life Wine Glass Candle | Fill-Ins with Polymer Clay and Paint | Issues in the Crafting World | Email Us! | Home While visiting the New Orleans Audubon Zoo -- which has two adult jaguars and two jaguar cubs -- I entered the zoo store to buy them out of their jaguar merchandise.

Imagine my surprise to find polymer clay! On several shelves were glass candle holders wrapped in faux animal skin polymer clay.

After I searched without avail for a jaguar candle, I decided I could as easily make my own. This is the project.

I'd know you'd think I would be featuring a jaguar-skin candle here, but instead, I went with the giraffe. You can choose any skin you want; I recommend having a picture nearby so you can check for accuracy (if that is what you are after).

  • photograph of the animal you want to copy
  • polymer clay in appropriate colors (for the giraffe I used white, tan, yellow, and brown)
  • wine glass or any other glass container
  • cutting blade
  • wax block
  • wicks
  • empty coffee can or other can
  • Translucent Liquid Sculpey (optional)
  • Future Floor Wax (optional)
  • pasta machine (optional)
Step One:

Blend your colors and form them into blocks.

If you are making spots, use a Skinner blend to form the inside of the bulls-eye cane, then wrap with the background color.

Step Two:

Slice thin pieces off your blocks or canes.

It doesn't matter if the pieces are of uniform size or shape, since as you add them to the cup, you will stretch them all into unique shapes anyhow.

Step Three:

Coat the wine glass with a thin layer of Translucent Liquid Sculpey.

I do this step because the clay will stick to the liquid Sculpey far easier than to the glass itself.

Step Four:

Start adding thinly sliced pieces of your cane to the glass.

It's ok that there are spaces between the pieces as you add them to the glass.

Step Five:

Gently press the slices of clay towards each other until their edges are touching.

Using a light touch, rub together the touching edges of each piece, until all the edges disappear. Be careful here to make sure your touch is strong enough to blend the edges together, but not so strong as to start blending the colors together.

Once you've covered the entire glass, bake it at the time and temperature recommended by the clay manufacturer.

Step Six:

Once the glass has cured, cooled, and been sanded, cover it with a coat of Future.

As the Future is drying, take an empty tin can (I used a coffee can) and put several chunks of wax in it. Make sure you use more expensive wax -- I used some cheap stuff from the craft store and it smells terrible.

Step Seven:

Put the tin can with wax into the boiling water and melt the wax according to the wax manufacturer's directions.

I used a can opener to cut away half the no-cut safety ring to form a handle and cut another part to form a spout.

Because the can kept tipping sideways, I put a spoon through the handle to keep it from falling over.

Be very careful. Hot wax can be dangerous.

Step Eight:

Once the wax has melted, pour a little bit into the wine cup. Drop a wick in, make sure it is straight, and let the wax dry.

Once the wick is secure, pour the rest of the wax into the cup (that brown stuff in there is coffee grounds -- I don't know what I was thinking).

Let the wax dry, and there you have your new wild life wine glass candle.