Dollywood is for everyone.
I say that realizing it’s a common claim about many destinations. I have confidence saying it about Dollywood because whether or not you enjoy thrill rides, our theme park has something that you will enjoy. Beyond ride attractions, we offer fantastic live productions, a foodie’s paradise, seasonal festivals—and arts and crafts. I want to key in on the arts and crafts and tell you about the great demonstrations you can find in the Craftsman’s Valley area. Specifically, I want to tell you about Old Flames Candles.
Dollywood’s theming includes a showcase of life in the Smoky Mountains during the 1800s. Several craftsmen offer daily demonstrations to enrich your experience and understanding of the Appalachian way of living. At Old Flames, you’ll likely be greeted by Kearan who is an expert at carving candles—including her specialty, the type of candle known affectionately as the cut and curl!
Here’s a recap of what you’ll see: she starts with a mold. When she is ready to design the candle, she dips it back into hot wax to warm it to about 160 degrees. From there, she dips the candle into water to cool it before adding the next layer of wax. She’ll choose different colors for the layers—always alternating between water and wax. If you watch the whole process, she will dip the candle between 60-80 times—doubling its original weight! Once she’s ready to begin carving she has about five to seven minutes to carve and get it the way she wants it. When she’s satisfied with the design, she will dip the candle a final time in clear wax to finish it and give it the pretty shine you see. The whole process takes about 30 minutes.
Old Flames also offers votives, dip-your-own candles and even candles that look like ice cream cones!
Until you can visit us at Dollywood or while planning on things to do this spring, check out this video as Kearan cuts and curls.