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Traditional Handmade Byzantine


Tsoukas Workshop
Florina, GREECE

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The bleaching process of the wax is brought out by exposing it to direct sunlight alone, as their is no known chemical method. The work is done outside (usually at the yard) and always during the first months of summer (June-July) because then the sun's rays are of great strength and duration. For the same reason, it is avoided to bleach wax in August and September as then the results were disappointing and the wax does not get whiter, instead darker. Efforts have been made to bleach the beewax by chemical methods, but they failed or the wax lost its properties.

The pure beewax is heated over burning woods in a cauldron that contains a little water. The mixture is stirred  continuously until it is fully melted and then it is poured with an aproppriate tool onto a small wooden cylinder (tavern) which is attached to the edge of a tub filled with cool water and rotated. As the candle comes into contact with the cold water, it solidifies into thin sheets like chips which then are lied down and left to be exposed to the rays of the sun. In about 2-3 weeks of exposure and if the beewax is of good quality, it gets gradually from light brown to bright white. The laying wax sheets are sprinkled with water everyday in order not to be melted by the heat. At the end, the milled wax is collected and placed in large wooden barrels for use during the winter time.