14 March 2015
The history of wax is full of symbolism.
As candlemakers we have the fortune of making a product whose value is usually enriched by the significance that people gives to candles once they are lit: from the wishes that will come true when blowing out the candles on a birthday cake, to the countdown to Christmas of the candles in an Advent crown.
Since ancient times, one of the most common meanings related to wax was the sense of gratitude offerings operated by the ex-votos.
In Cerabella, we have recovered the 1862 moulds of our original ex-votos to make these wax sculptures that bring to nowadays home interiors such a visual strenght:
8 November 2014
From time to time, we like to revisit the origins:
Although in Catalan Abella happens to mean bee, our company in fact is named after the last name of the woman that founded it: Francesca Abella, born next to Abella de la Conca a long time ago.
We have been in Abella now that it is Autumn and the November sunlight baths old olive trees and almond tree fields. The silence and the views are simply breathtaking!
Francesca Abella had to leave for Barcelona to start a new life, but five generations later, we are still going back there again and again …
3 August 2014
“In order to bleach the wax, it is purified by melting, cleaning and exposing it to air and dew (…) “*
We love this part of our job that connects us with the ancient know-how of the art of candlemaking. A craftsmanship where each piece is unique, made by hand by one person and created for one person.
A look over Chambers’ Cyclopaedia (1680-1740) or Diderot and D’Alembert’s Encyclopédie*(1751-1772), discovers methods that have reached our times explained generation after generation. Maybe today the wax is not bleach by dew, but the essence of candlemaking remains.
26 April 2014
We guess it was that charming moustache which made Francesca fall for him.
Emili’s reasons, however, we know them for sure, but we will talk about them later on when we write a post about the words in his well perserved diary.
Francesca was quite older than him and besides she was the boss. Emili was a shop assistant and was deeply in love with her. Their wedding was full of smiles and hats and it is thanks to them that we are now here.
We thought it was pretty fair to dedicate them this souvenir.
Francesca Abella, Cereria Abella’s founder,
whose surname actually means bee in Catalan.
Emili Oller and his moustache.
Emili Oller, style lessons.
Emili, another shop assistant, Francesca and Maria Abella as a child: the following generation.
Plaça del Pedró in Barcelona circa 1862, when the candles workshop was inaugurated.
Francesca Abella and Emili Oller: the wedding.
1 November 2013
Traditionally, not only candles were lit for November 1st, but also a special tiny oil lights to honour the souls of the deceased. These tiny oil lights were known as little “butterflies” or “little souls” and consisted of a wick set on a small cork that used vegetal oil instead of wax as a combustible.
This custom, related to the Roman tradition of lighting an oil lamp for the spirit of the household gods, now is over, but these oil “butterflies” keep on illuminating all kinds of parties and events in a really delicate way.
Try pouring some water and olive oil in different glasses and light “butterflies” all around the room. The floating flames create a unique ethereal effect and, as long as there is oil, there will be flames!
13 October 2013
Last weekend we brought plenty of colourful candles outside the shop in order to sell them by inches.
Scubi birthday candles are a cool funny version of the ancient rope candles.
As they are flexible candles they can be modelled in different shapes before lightening them on the cake:
We can mix different sizes, curl them as spirals, bend them in a heart or star shape as well as combine their colours.
Cut, play and blow out!
2 February 2013
Today is Candlemas, Virgin of the Candles day, patron saint of candlemakers.
It is said that the origins of Candlemas or Celebration of the Light are found in the ancient Roman rituals of Parentalia. During this feast, little candles were brought to the necropolis in a procession in order to guide the deceaseds’ souls. Christians assimilated this celebration and Candlemas recalls the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, forty days after his birth. Traditionally, it is the Celebration of Light and protective beeswaxcandles are blessed for use throughout the year
Besides, February 2nd is also the exact date between the beginning of Winter and its end. First storks arrive, almond trees are in bloom and daylight starts to last longer.
In Catalan we say: “Si la Candelera riu, l’hivern és viu, si la Candelera plora, l’hivern és fora!”
(*”If the Virgin of Candles smiles, Winter is alive, but if she cries, Winter is over!”)