Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "Jump Lines"

This poem came out of the August 20, 2013 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from kelkyag.  It also fills the "starting over" square on my card for the Origfic Bingo fest.  This poem has been sponsored out of the general fund, based on an audience poll.  It belongs to the series One God's Story of Mid-Life Crisis.

Jump Lines

"We have a chandler now,"
Shaeth said to Glenta
when he and Trobby came home
with Eshne in tow.
"Someone burned up her wagon
and all her supplies."

"I'll have to start all over,"
Eshne said on a mournful note.

"What do you need for your work, dear?"
Glenta asked Eshne.
"Wax, wicking, molds ..." Eshne said.
"Colors and scents if you want them.
You'll need candle holders too."

"I just want the candles to make light,"
Shaeth said.  He never had understood
why some people were so obsessed
with having black candles or red ones,
and that incident with Zargon and the pink candle
that turned out to be part of a love spell
had been downright embarrassing.

Glenta brought out the stub ends of candles
and the chunks of leftover wax
that people sometimes donated
when they had no coins to give.
There was a dented old pot for melting wax
and a hank of cotton yarn for wicking.

"These all look good," Eshne said,
"but we still have no molds or holders."

Shaeth turned a beer bottle in his hands.
"We've just been sticking the candles
into the necks of bottles," he said.

"That works for tapers, though it's not
the safest or the cleanest method,"
Eshne said.  "I suppose we could dip candles,
but that takes a lot more time than pouring them."

Shaeth was not made of patience.
"Surely there must be another option,"
he said to Eshne.

Glenta picked up a wine bottle,
the green glass glinting in her fingers.
"I have seen temples where the candles
sat inside tall jars of glass," she said.

"I can make glass candles," Eshne said.
"I do not know if it would work
pouring them inside bottles, though.
The narrow neck might be a problem."

"If we broke the necks off, the edges
would be too sharp and jagged,"
Trobby pointed out.

"Not necessarily," Shaeth said.
He ran a finger around the bottle he held,
murmuring a cutting spell.
The neck came loose from the body,
leaving a sharp straight edge.
"Grind that down with a bit of sandstone,
and you've got a decent candle glass."

Eshne took the glass,
mindful of the sharp edge.
"Yes," she said, "I can work with this."

So Shaeth cut bottles down to candle glasses,
and Trobby started sanding down the rims.
Glenta helped Eshne cut wicks and melt wax.

Eshne fitted the wicks into the bottles
and then carefully poured in the molten wax.
Soon they had rows of lovely candles
in glasses of green and clear and brown.

Eshne frowned, her fingertip tracing
the horizontal lines that had formed
as the hot wax poured into the warmed glass.
"Look at all these jump lines," she said.
"I was hoping to show you
a nicer example of my work."

"It always leaves a mark," Shaeth said,
"when you go from one thing to another,
but it is worth doing anyhow."

"Do not worry about it,"
Glenta advised.
"Sometimes things come out
not quite perfect to look at,
but they still work just the same."

* * *


Jump lines are small horizontal marks that form in wax as it pours into a container.  If you use excellent wax and warm the containers just right, you can get perfect candles; but most of the time, there will be lines and/or bubbles.

The original temple lights looked like this but there is a cleaner bottle holder design for tapers.  This glass candle version is what they're making now.  (As an alternative to a cutting spell or a glass cutter, you can use string and fire to cut a bottle.) Hanging candle lanterns use a wine bottle as the shield around a smaller glass candle (such as could be made from a beer bottle).  These are oil lamp "candles."  Browse some more ideas for wine bottle crafts including side-holed candle lanterns.  Why so many bottle crafts?  Use what you've got.  They've got booze bottles in several sizes and colors.

Candles in general have a rich historyPioneer candles were often dipped rather than molded, which is a really tedious process.  This website for candlemaking supplies has a big archive of how-to articles on many aspects of the craft.  Learn about making container candles; glass candles are one example of those.

Tags: crafts, cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, weblit, writing

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