Choosing the correct wick size is one of the most important aspect to candle making. A candle with the correct wicking will give a reliable clean burn.
An obvious sign of an under wicked candle is the size of the flame, or lack there of. The wick may extinguish itself before all the wax is burned as it burns down the center of the candle, tunneling itself.
The flame is appropriately sized, burns cleanly and does not flicker. The melt pool will extend to the edge of the container and will melt evenly throughout the burn cycle. The wick burns cleanly without buildup of carbon at the tip.
Having the wick size too large for the candle can be seen with flames that are too tall and flicker continually. The melt pool is deeper than 1/2 inch and the container will become extremely hot. Smoke is produced along with the flame and will build up soot along the side of container as the wick is producing excess carbon. The wick itself with appear to 'mushroom' at its end or begin to break off and drop into the melt pool.
Candles come in all shapes and sizes. For those pouring candles, you need to choose the right mold for the task, unless, the container you are pouring into is the finished product.
Metal molds can be made from a variety of different metals and can be the most expensive but are everlasting as long as they are properly maintained. A release spray is needed when removing candles from mold and wicking needle is recommended if wick is not pre-assembled. Those described as seamless do not have a welding line.
Due to their flexibility and resistance to heat (to a certain extent) silicone molds produce intricate details in a candle. A vast variety of different molds are available. Ensure the mold is fastened as one side typically has a slit for easy release. Silicone molds have a limited life and spray is needed to release candel from mold.
Plastic molds offer the intricate designs as well as a longer life span when compared to silicone. These molds are solid enough to hold the wax while being flexible enough to help in releasing the candle from mold. Plus, plastic allows for you to see what is happening throughout the process. One downside to using plastic is that it is susceptible to warping when dealing with over-heated wax.