Monday, April 02, 2012

Velas de cascara de naranja

I first saw these in the Mercado de Artesanias in Cuernavaca next to the Palace of Cortes a few years ago.  Just saw a brief glimpse of them on a tourism video and it reminded me.   I don't have my old fotos any longer so decided to go looking for others.  After searching for some form of  "candles in the skin of citrus" I finally found them under "velas de cascara de naranja". Different types of these seem to be a popular home craft in Latin America.

They were so unusual, delicate and so much work went into them I was surprised I found no mention of them in English ... maybe meaning not many had seen them.   I was also surprised they were only 40-50 pesos.  They made smaller ones using limes.

The skin is turned inside out, put on a mould and left to dry.  The etching is done with a fine tipped soldering iron.   String is wrapped around so the lid only comes down so far.  Then the flowers and leaves are glued on and the whole thing is covered with a thin coating of wax.  Wish I could have found a detailed description of the process but didn't.

velas de cascara de naranja

orange skin candles

Found this on how to make boxes

Here's the video and they are shown at about 32 seconds


Babs said...

I have never heard or seen these! Me, a person who has studied Mexican folkart for almost 50 years!
Thanks so much for interesting process and story.
Would I have to go to Cuernavaca to find them?

sparks_mex said...

I don't know. I bought about 6 on my first visit and then didn't find them again on my second. My sister has a few and I gave one to Jennifer Rose in Morelia and she hadn't seen them either. Never saw them in the nice arts and crafts stores.

I'd have forgotten if I didn't see the quick glimpse on a Morelos tourism video.

sparks_mex said...

I added the video above

Andean said...

They have velas de cascara de naranja in Barra de Navidad. Just saw them, very pretty and smell so good.

The construction of the house finished in April 2011 and I'm pretty much settled in. As of March 2014 I'm in preparation for rain mode for this coming summer. That includes sealing and painting things and dealing with drainage issues from last year.

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