Here is the latest excerpt from Iain's guest blog series charting his aims to build a socially responsible candle company working with disabled people. To find out more about his project you can read about it here on my Guest Beekeeping Blog Page. I hope you enjoy his latest post....he is on an amazing journey.
Recently I have taken to view the project that is Lucenarium, as to being like that of a journey. As with all journeys it starts with a desire to be somewhere else and often ends somewhere unexpected. But for me the best part of the adventure is what happens along the way ...
As you can see our new equipment is pretty amazing and full on!
It has many great safety features, and has been specially designed for ease of use by people with learning disabilities. Finding this equipment was pretty amazing, because it seemed like it was designed with Lucenarium in mind.
But it has not all been plain sailing getting up to this point.
In fact finding the right equipment involved some quite unpleasant sailing!
A good friend of mine, Barnaby (winner of the prestigious ‘London Beekeeper of the Year’ award 2011) and I took a trip to Holland to visit the factory where they make this specialized equipment. I discovered that a ferry crossing in mid January can be quite rough indeed. It took me two days to stop feeling that drunken sea-sick sensation.
The next day, we spent the whole day at the factory, ‘Gildewerk’ in Haarlem and were given a demonstration of all the equipment and different techniques that could be used to make candles, it was very informative and well worth the rough crossing (though next time I might consider Euro-star, even if it is more expensive)
Towards the end of the day Barnaby and I got taken to visit a project similar to Lucenarium in Haarlem. this was a too good an opportunity to turn down, so off we went......
The workshop was a lovely cosy space. Even though it was late in the day and all the people with disabilities had gone home, you could tell that it had a great atmosphere, and seemed like a lovely place to come and shop for candles and also to come to work.
It was a great inspiration to see someone doing something similar and to see the equipment that we wanted, in everyday use. It made me even more determined to make Lucenarium happen and really spurred me on.
Two months on, our equipment arrived and though we have already moved it twice, it appeared on my doorstep early one morning with out any warning so we were not quite ready for it, we are delighted to have it. We have now got it set up and we have just given it a test run (or should i say maiden voyage?)
So for now it is full steam ahead ...
Over the next couple of weeks we will all be working flat out to to make a stock of candles to take to a secret location for a photo shoot, and I will have my head down trying to secure some funding to take Lucenarium forward.
James' note: Should you want to know a little bit more about Iain and his exploits with Lucenarium Beeswax Candles you can find information on the Guest Beekeeping Blog page.