Can you tell me a little about your background?
My name is Kristy Payne and I live in Sydney Australia. I was always a creative kid. My family would be the first to tell you. I used to wake everyone up on Saturday mornings at 5am when I was young, to the sound of a sticky tape dispenser because I was making shoes out of old tissue boxes I took from the bin. Or maybe it was hat. Probably both. My day job is working for an amazing cosmetics company that is natural and ethical and an all around happy place. Working here has taught me how different aromas influence mood and access memories. I also really like cats.
What do you make?
I make hand-poured scented soy candles.
What attracted you to this particular medium?
I really love candles. It’s as simple as that. At nighttime I would turn my lights off and burn dozens candles scattered over the bookshelves in my home. I started to notice that the candles I were using were either burning uneven or producing soot that would stain the wall and books around it. So I looked into making my own candles that burnt all the way to the edges and didn’t produce soot or fumes. And that’s when I discovered soy wax!
How did you get started?
I had created candles for my own home, but when I really started making candles was at Christmas time. I made a candle for every household in my family. I picked scents that I thought reflected them, and packaged them up with some home made dog biscuits.
Two weeks later we all got together for my grandpas birthday, and the reception and appreciation I received for my candles was amazing. Everyone was so pleased not only with the scent, but the quality and aesthetics. I don’t think I had ever made something to be proud of before.
How long have you been making?
I started making candles in 2012
How does your practice fit in with your everyday life? Do you have your own studio space and when do you work and where?
I take one day a week and dedicated it to my candles. Whether it’s taking photos, getting scent inspiration, test burning or actually producing the candles.
I make candles out of my kitchen at home.
What are the best and worst aspects about working with this medium?
The best is that I’m able to work with a renewable ingredient, soy wax. It’s made from 100% soybeans from America. It makes me proud that the product I’m putting into the world isn’t in-turn hurting it.
The worst would have to be the time it takes to make a candle from start to finish. There are so many aspects that go in to creating a perfectly even and well-scented candle. From heating to the perfect temperature, waiting for it to cool 20 degrees to be able to mix in scent, and then more waiting until it is ready to pour. And after all that, it takes 24 hours to set.
Who or what inspires you?
Other sellers on Etsy. The creativity in the Etsy community blows my mind. They inspire me on a daily basis to pick up my game, take risks and give myself fully to my craft. People, who I don’t even know, become my support as well as motivation, to be the best creator I can be.
Do you get creative blocks? If so, how do you deal with it?
My creative block, realistically, is more like laziness. The best way to deal with trying to juggle a day job and a handmade business is to schedule time around my days off to really focus on being creative and productive. When I need a kick in the butt to get motivated, I start with the things I’m most passionate about, at the moment it’s growing my business on social media, and I find everything will follow.
What other mediums would you love to explore?
I would love to take my fondness of soy, fragrance and natural products into the world of hair and body products.
What do you hope to do next with your practice?
I hope to be able to quit my day job (every Etsian’s dream). But in the short term, I hope to be able to create more scents that I can make into candles and start to sell wholesale to local independent businesses.
Thank you Kristy! Are you a maker or an artist? - I would love to feature you - its painless and gives your work exposure - it is so inspirational to hear about other creatives, as everyone's story is interesting. Contact me today!