Japanese traditional candle maker: OMORI Warosoku [Part 1]
We are so honoured to introduce a very precious Japanese traditional candle maker OMORI Warosoku at Uguisu.
OMORI's precious handcrafted candles are shipped to the world directly from Japan via Uguisu.
OMORI Warosoku is an independent family run candle maker with a long history from a small town called Uchiko in Ehime prefecture who produces only the genuine traditional candles made with natural tree-seed wax mokurou and techniques that have been passed down over generations since the Edo period. Today, the sixth generation craftsman Taro and his son preserve the traditional skills that are so precious as there are only a handful of craftsman with these skills are left in Japan.
Unlike other candles that are made with rice bran wax and/or using casts, the genuine Ha-ze sumac wax candles take so much time, care and skills that they can not be produced in large quantities. These candles are made with such unique techniques that require so much handwork.
In ancient times, most of the traditional Japanese candles were made from this type of wax but the amount available had decreased rapidly in recent years.
Making of Warosoku
1. Wick Making
First step for making the Warosoku candles is the wick making. This is done by wrapping Japanese washi paper and igusa rush (reed) onto bamboo skewers turning them until they are fully wrapped. Floss-silk is used as sealing. All of the materials used are taken from the nature that have been used since the ancient times in Japan.
The main process of making Warosoku candles are scooping the wax that are melt at around 40-45℃ with bare hands and then coating it on the wicks by rotating them over and over - usually 5 or 6 wicks are done at a time. Repeating the process of this coating and drying in turns will gradually create thickness of the candles. Wax is heated with charcoal fire, which has also been done since the Edo period at Omori.
Candles are polished using the friction of hands. This is done carefully so that the candles will not be have too much shine but have natural touch like wood.
4. Exposing the wicks
This process is to expose the top of the wick so that it can be lit. Warm the tip of each candle in the container heated with charcoal fire until it gets soft, then remove the top part carefully without cutting off the wick.
Because of the way these candles are crafted, the length of each candle is never the same so trimming is required. This is done by cutting the bottom of the candles using the heated Masonry trowel. The trimmed ends will be up-cycled by melting them back to being wax so they are not wasted.
Completed candles will have patterns like growth ring on the section of each candle. This is created from the repeating process of wax coating. Each candle will be slightly thicker at the top, with pale greenish beige colour once completed.
*All images courtesy of Omori Warosoku.
We recommend watching this movie by Omori Warosoku to see all the making process in action - it is quite amazing.