A candle consists only of a wick and some stearin. Its light however, can spread so much warmth, cosiness and comfort. At the candle factory, Lowima in Skellefteå, the foundations for many a cosy winter evening are crafted.
As I enter Lowima, the candle factory on the outskirts of central Skellefteå, Mattias Wikström is stirring the large stearin water bath.
– Stearin melts at 65 degrees but at that point atenth of a degree in either direction determines the properties it will have. Stearin is rather brittle but if you handle it correctly you can use it to create almost anything.
He nods in the direction of a 50 centimetre tall stearin shell standing on a workbench a bit further away.
– The idea is that you put a candle on the bottom. It creates a wonderfully soft and nice glow.
Mattias is a former ice hockey player. First in Skellefteå AIK and then professionally in Germany. About five years ago, he hung up his skates and soon thereafter he realised his passion for candles. Together with his wife Lollo he visited a candle factory in Norrbotten.
– We felt right away that this was something we wanted to do.
Just a few weeks later, they had completed a crash course in candle making held by a stearin company in Stockholm – and purchased a quarter metric ton of stearin.