Over 100 years ago in Fulda, Germany, the Gunter family, with centuries of experience and being well known carvers and artists, and familiar with the use of wax, opened their doors to the world in designing a special kind of candle.
First, they made a special wax formula which contained a high percentage of beeswax.
Second, they made their own special wicks, handmade, braided and spun from high grade threads.
Each wick was selected in thickness according to the diameter of the candle being made, and dipped into the wax many times until they achieved the exact diameter they needed.
Once these candles were made, they stood them aside to harden and dry and began the artistic work.
They carved many wooden molds, using designs from old world artists, many from the renowned whimsical German artist, Karl Spitzweg.
Once the molds were completed, they took a special hard liquid wax formula which takes a very high degree of heat, to create the outside mold, and poured it into the mold and allowing it to harden just enough so that they could loosen the wax and separate it from the mold, giving them a reverse design in a hard wax mold.
The hard wax mold was then laid onto a heated plate to soften it just enough so it could be lifted up and wrapped around a candle.
Taking a heated metal pen, all the sides of the mold were sealed so it became part of the candle. Once the mold hardened onto the candle, it was allowed to cool and given a patina wash.
It was time then for the handpainting. The candle is placed on a wooden plate that turned similar to a lazy susan. This way, the artist could continuously paint around the candle without touching it.
Because each candle was handpainted, even if it was the same scene, the result would be according the artist's rendition of the original artwork, making each piece one of a kind, so that each individual candle became a collectible.
Finishing with a beautiful candle that burned very slowly from the inside and lighted up just like a lantern.
Because many people were afraid of losing the outside painting, for several of their larger candles, the Gunter family invented a plastic insert which holds a small candle. This would keep the candle completely intact and only the small candle would burn and that could be replaced.
Before burning, the removeable lid was taken off the candle and the small candle could be lit. After burning, the lid was again replaced atop the candle giving it a complete look.
The factory also made many custom candles such as the Neuschwanstein Castle and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. which are in high demand today as collectibles.
They also made some limited edition candles such as a 4 foot high candle with paintings around the candle and a permanent wick, and these were limited to only 5 pieces.
Although the factory is no longer in existence, the Gunter candles still have the distinction of being the decorative candle of choice for many fine homes, museums, houses of state, churches and collectible gift shops throughout the world.
When you hear people talk about the hand-carved candles from Germany, they are talking about the Gunter Candles - the legend lives on.
Several of the Gunter candles are still available, pictured on our pages herein. Supplies are very limited. Please let us know your choices - we are pleased to hear from you and answer any questions.
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