If there’s one thing that completes wintery cozy nights it’s absolutely candles–and Anna Macy of Slow Burn is creating beautiful beeswax candles just for you this holiday season! Stop by the Very Merry Market Sunday, Dec 12 noon to 6 p.m. at Drekker to meet the maker in person and shop local, too!
Tell us a bit about yourself:
Hey there! My name is Anna Macy (she/ her). I grew up in Fertile, MN, a tiny, quaint town way up north, and moved to FargoMoorhead in 2012. The restaurant industry has been a big part of my world and has been my “regular job” for most of my life. I love being in nature so when I get a chance to skip town you can find me making coffee over a fire, searching for rocks and setting up camp. A couple of my favorite spots are the badlands of South Dakota or, a little closer to home, Minnesota’s North Shore. I’m happiest when I can create. I’ve always enjoyed sewing, drawing and making with my hands, and I try to do so as often as possible. My work with Slow Burn goes beyond candle making and I like to create sketches for all of the postcards, business cards, and tags. Creating feels very personal to me and having a hand in each of the elements is something I really enjoy.
Describe what type of products you make?
I create a variety of candles from locally sourced beeswax. Actually, the beeswax I use comes from my hometown–Fertile, MN–where there are a lot of beekeepers in the area. I make tapers, celebration candles and number candles. My tapers range from standard straight to a corkscrew-like spiral. I hand dip, hand mold and form each candle individually. I don’t add any scents or dyes to my work because I feel the beeswax really speaks for itself. It’s a beautiful product that naturally has a warm, earthy, slightly sweet aroma which comes from the plant nectar carried by pollinating bees. Beeswax is the slowest burning of all the common candle waxes which lends to my products having plenty of hours of burn time.
Tell us how you got started?
I first began making candles as a way to sooth my winter blues. As we Midwesterners know all too well, the days are short and the nights can be long and cold. But, while standing over my stove, the act of dipping, rolling and creating candles became really meditative for me. After some time of making for family and friends, I applied for the Unglued Craft Fest and, to my joy, got in! It was at that time, during the application process really, that Slow Burn as it is today really came to fruition. So if you’re thinking about it–go for it!
What is your personal favorite item you have created?
My favorite item is a candle I call the “Joan.” The style came from an experimental making day and was the first time I looked at my work and thought “Wow, this is really beautiful.” I named her Joan because she is both bold and feminine which fit so in–sync with many “Joans” that come to my mind.
How do you come up with new types of candles?
What are you inspired by?
I’m most inspired by the product itself–the wax. I usually start by creating a classic taper then I’ll bend and shape it while it’s still malleable to see where I can take it. I like to create styles that will carry the integrity of beeswax which is known for minimal dripping and its long, slow burn. Candles with a lot of bends or extreme edges won’t always carry those traits along so I like to try to keep things as organic as possible.
It seems like people have either taken up the Hygge lifestyle or at least are trying to, and candles are such a huge part of creating that warm, cozy environment. What do you feel candles bring to a home or space?
I think that lighting a candle can be a really intentional act. It’s bringing us into our space in a way by saying I am here and I don’t plan to leave. A candle sets a tone, it calls attention to our senses, it’s an opportunity to be still, or draw us into our company. With daylight hours so fleeting this time of year, a moment with a lit candle can provide a silver lining to the darkness.
What is something you’ve enjoyed the most from creating these items?
Slow Burn has become my opportunity to be still and let my mind be fueled by creation. That’s what I enjoy the most. Overall, doing this has become my personal space. I love the element of candles that is practical, functional and emotional. It’s important to me to put my heart and attention into each piece and for that moment, I try not to focus on much else.
What is the most challenging thing?
Without a doubt it’s wicks! In this process, I’ve learned there is quite a science behind wicking and finding the right wick for your candle’s needs. Material, ply, and braid type all play into this. A LOT of trial and error has taken place in the name of wicking. For now, I think I’ve found what works for my needs. For now…
What is a word that best describes you?
I think a word that describes me the most is introspective.
What advice would you have given yourself 10 years ago?
That it’s ok (and necessary) to say no! 10 years ago I was going to school taking as many classes as I could and working any moment I wasn’t at school. Life beyond those two elements became something I had to schedule in. It’s taken years but I’ve learned where to draw my line and give time to my priorities which has made way for a much more fulfilling way of life.
Where can people find your work?
I’m so happy to say you can find Slow Burn in Unglued and at the upcoming Very Merry Holiday Craft Market taking place at Drekker Brewing on December 12th. I’m also on Instagram and have a website!