American Artisans

American Artisans: PollenArts Beeswax Candles

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American Artisans PollanArts handmade Beeswax candles
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PollenArts is the tenth in my Sunday series featuring American Artisans. There are so many exceptionally talented craftspeople, designers, and small companies across the country who share my love of handcrafted quality, and this is my chance to introduce them to you. These artisans are creating beautiful, useful and delicious products that elevate the experience of everyday cooking, dining, and entertaining. They’re using skills, techniques, and materials that might otherwise be lost in our era of mass production. Their work makes me happy, and I hope it does the same for you. Each feature will be paired with a giveaway to give you the chance to experience their work for yourselves. I’ll be doing these features every other Sunday for the foreseeable future, so be sure to check back, and enjoy!

Wax candles by PollenArts

Meet Peter and Juwels, the free-spirited creative couple behind this exquisite line of handmade beeswax candles, molded in the shape of antique bottles.  They work from their idyllic studio/compound in Flagstaff Arizona, along with a flock of chickens, a couple of Nubian goats, their new baby, and lots and lots of wild bees!

American Artisans Peter and Juwels of PollenArts

It all started with the chance discovery of a single antique bottled that washed up in a tide pool while the couple was wandering along a Southern California beach.  They started making the candles on the tiny stove of their 1975 Winnebago Chieftain, which was home at the time.  A couple of months later Etsy highlighted the little company in a featured article, and business skyrocketed!  Orders poured in by the hundreds and forced the couple of rethink their plans…they’re now living out their dreams in beautiful northern Arizona surrounded by nature and the bees that make the whole thing possible.

American Artisans Peter and Juwels and their wild bees“We weren’t planning on making candles, but sometimes life’s adventures find you.”

I just love these candles, they have a warm, sophisticated, vintage aesthetic.  Each one is incredibly detailed — the molds are made from old bottles that range from soda pop, apothecaries, and inkwells, to vintage peanut butter and Vaseline jars.  Some of the prettiest are made from rare French perfume bottles.  I want to collect them and set them out in groups all over my house.  I especially like them for the kitchen and dining areas because beeswax is clean burning, with no artificial scent to interfere with your food.

PollenArts Beeswax candle

Vintage Vaseline jar

Why Beeswax?  Peter says “Most candles are made from chemical paraffin, a byproduct of petroleum. But honey bees produce an organic, smokeless, ionizing, sweet smelling fuel. It burns longer and brighter than any other wax.”  Beeswax is more eco-friendly than soy, too.  All natural, renewable beeswax is actually very subtly scented with the aroma of honey and the flowers from which it was made.  It has a lovely buttery color, too.

American Artisans: PollenArts beeswax candle

circa 1890 ‘Poison’ apothecary bottle

I think the idea of using vintage bottles as molds is brilliant — each one is more gorgeous than the one before it, and the wax takes on the details beautifully.  The couple sources the wide variety from antique shows, dealers, and diggers.  My mom used to collect old bottles and display them on shelves that she had built into the kitchen window, I’ve always loved them —  and every old bottle has a story to go along with it.  You can see all of them in their Etsy shop, here.

American Artisans PollanArts handmade beeswax candles

French perfume (left) Rose’s Lime Juice (right)

The antique Rose’s lime juice bottle, above right, “…used to contain lime juice which was rationed out daily to sailors by law to prevent scurvy. I imagine there are thousands of these beautiful bottles at the bottom of the sea … The heavily embossed flowers and limes look amazing as the bottle burns down, and the features start to glow.”  The one on the left is a rare perfume bottle.

American Artisans PollenArts peanut Butter Jar Candle

Yes, peanut butter used to come in glass jars!

American Artisans small beeswax candles

old inkwell candles

These candles are surprisingly well priced considering the work involved in creating each one by hand, from raw material to beautifully detailed finished product.  They make perfect housewarming and host/hostess gifts.  As some of you might know my daughter just got married, and for her shower I offered her a gift from her choice of any of the Artisans that I’ve featured in this series, and she chose these candles!   I think they lend a beautiful ambiance to a living space, whether you burn them, or not.

American Artisans PollenArts Rum Bottle Candle

extra large rum bottle candle

American Artisans PollenArts Maple Syrup Bottle Candle

Beautifully detailed old maple syrup bottle candle

Check out this charming video – it tells the whole story and then some!

American Artisans PollanArts handmade Beeswax candles

PollenArts is generously giving away a set of their handmade Milk & Honey Beeswax Candles (pictured below) —– to one lucky reader!

To enter, please visit PollenArt’s Etsy store, HERE, and leave a comment below, I’d love to hear what you think of these candles…you have until Friday the 19th to enter, and good luck!

(Giveaway ends Friday June 19th – giveaway is now closed)

*I use to pick the winner, and will announce it here on Saturday. I am not compensated in any way for these posts.

*** The winner of the giveaway is Donna Worth — congratulations Donna! ***

Milk and Honey Beeswax candles

Milk & Honey Handmade Beeswax Candle Set

You can see all the past features in this series HERE, and HERE’S a fun google map with everyone’s location!



    Leave a Reply

  • Reply
    jim pancurak
    June 24, 2019 at 1:02 am

    how do I get some of these candles and how much their hard too find and ive heard of the many health benefits from erie pa

  • Reply
    September 2, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    That’s awesome! Hoe do you get it out of the bottle? Do you cut the bottom of the bottle off? I have my own wax (recently) and am trying to make a few candles for my house. I heard pure beeswax burns too hot in a glass container so I need to mix coconut oil with it. Is that true?

  • Reply
    November 10, 2016 at 4:23 am

    Amazing candles! I love that they have tea lights.

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    June 19, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    Those are gorgeous! I love them all, but I really might have to buy the holy water one! My friends at seminary would be obsessed!

  • Reply
    June 19, 2015 at 7:20 am

    Thank you for introducing us to this creative couple with such a great story. All their candles are really unique, but I especially love the lime juice bottle. I would love to try these and what a great gift idea!

  • Reply
    Karen S
    June 17, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    I think these candles are beautiful! I am in love with its natural color. And their artistic details and shapes make them look so romantic.

  • Reply
    Rebecca Murphy
    June 17, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Amazing candles! I love that they have tea lights. Can’t wait to buy some for house warming gifts as well as for myself!

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    Charlotte Silva
    June 17, 2015 at 8:59 am

    Wow, these are all beautiful. I especially like the rum candles as I live near Newport, RI where back in the day there was lots of rum running. They are all beautiful.

  • Reply
    Nancy Lareau
    June 16, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    Great unique gifts

  • Reply
    Nancy Lareau
    June 16, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    Such beautiful artsy candles. I love that they are all natural and what a cute couple!

  • Reply
    Neale Dunn
    June 16, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    Beautiful candles and a beautiful story as well! I will be ordering gifts for some very special people from you and will have to choice but to treat myself to one or three!

  • Reply
    Kimberly C
    June 16, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    Oh my goodness!! These candles are absolutely amazing and so beautiful!!! They are so different from anything I’ve ever seen, I especially like the key and floral designs.

  • Reply
    June 16, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    These candles are unique and beautiful. It would be very difficult for me to pick a favorite.

  • Reply
    June 15, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    Beautiful, and so unique! I love the smell of beeswax. 🙂

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    June 15, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    Oh my how gorgeous are these!

  • Reply
    Paula Michalowski
    June 15, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    I favorited this shop on my Etsy and bookmarked the blog. The candles are beautiful and I am going to go back and buy some for sure. I love their lifestyle too, so cool.

  • Reply
    June 15, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    What beautiful, amazing candles!! I have “favorited” the page for future gift giving! You find such amazing things!

  • Reply
    June 15, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    your candles are beautiful. Too pretty to burn.

  • Reply
    June 15, 2015 at 11:58 am

    What a great story..yes, always keep an open mind and eye out too. Their candles are exquisite..such detail in some of them..I love the Lime juice bottle with all the minute detail of the flowers..gorgeous.
    I make candles, but not like this..hahaha.
    I agree with you I would love every single one of clusters all through the house.
    I would NEVER burn them though.
    There facebook page is great too..especially about bees and funny animals..I fanned the page. Thanks for the intro.

  • Reply
    Jan R
    June 15, 2015 at 10:34 am

    These a so awesome!

  • Reply
    June 15, 2015 at 10:16 am

    This is a FANTASTIC find! How wonderful to see a creative approach to candlelight! I LOVE the story of the lime juice bottle…. wow… beautiful. Thanks for introducing this couple and project to us!

  • Reply
    June 15, 2015 at 10:09 am

    I love these candles, and I especially like the idea of a mild, naturally scented candle without all the perfumes.

  • Reply
    June 15, 2015 at 9:55 am

    These candles are wonderful, I particularly like the floral bottles. Their story is pretty great too.

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    June 15, 2015 at 9:02 am

    These are so beautiful and creative and I must say the color is one of my favorite things about the candles. Very cool story too!

    • Reply
      June 15, 2015 at 9:23 am

      I agree, the color is very rich.

  • Reply
    Sandy Hoskins
    June 15, 2015 at 8:50 am

    Lovely candles!

  • Reply
    Heidi Hess
    June 15, 2015 at 8:02 am

    How creative. Love the selenite candles.

  • Reply
    June 15, 2015 at 7:53 am

    These candles are awesome…loved the Etsy store.

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    June 15, 2015 at 6:48 am

    These are absolutely amazing, stunningly beautiful and what a fun story to go along with them!

  • Reply
    Laura m
    June 15, 2015 at 6:34 am

    These candles are absolutely gorgeous!

  • Reply
    June 15, 2015 at 6:20 am

    What a great way to reuse old vintage glass jars! I can almost smell the warm honey scent.

  • Reply
    Kristie P
    June 15, 2015 at 6:16 am

    Beautiful! I really love the Holy Water/Poison duo. Lovely find.

  • Reply
    June 15, 2015 at 5:44 am

    Wonderful candles! And a great ‘company’! 😉

  • Reply
    June 15, 2015 at 4:50 am

    Sue, Thank you for showing us these gorgeous candles!! I often use beeswax candles because they burn so well and so long and the scent is so pleasant, but I have never seen any like these. I will definitely be thinking of these for hostess and housewarming gifts! Linda

  • Reply
    June 15, 2015 at 4:44 am

    The couple that makes these are as cool and creative as the candles they make.

  • Reply
    June 15, 2015 at 4:28 am

    In the beginning a labour of love, Looks as though this couple really enjoy making these lovely and special wax candles.

  • Reply
    Raquel Silies
    June 15, 2015 at 3:39 am

    These are gorgeous! I love beeswax. My favorite is the New England Rum bottle.

  • Reply
    June 15, 2015 at 2:23 am


    • Reply
      June 15, 2015 at 4:25 am

      Amazing to reflect on how much the small honeybee contributes to our society. they say honey has a very long shelf life. these candles are truly beautiful thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    These are absolutely beautiful! I like the milk bottle the best, simply because I like to collect old milk bottles, but I also live in a town called Greenfield. I really want to get some of these! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Missy B
    June 14, 2015 at 11:38 pm

    Each candle tells its own story as it reflects the details of the mold, old bottle, and artistic flair of these beeswax artisans. It is impossible for me to choose a favorite; I’m grateful for reasonable prices that will allow me to gradually build a collection. Thanks for highlighting this creative couple!

  • Reply
    Melissa K
    June 14, 2015 at 10:03 pm

    They are gorgeous–I love the lime juice bottle one!

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    Such craftmanship. Just enchanting to look at and im sure the smell is devine. I used to keep one hive of bees and it was so fun. You never forget what a wonderful smell pure beeswax has. Id love to have these for my home

    Ps love your new artisan series. I found so many goodies.

  • Reply
    Angie W
    June 14, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    Wow, some of these candles are so beautiful! And 300+ hours of burn time?! Thanks for introducing me to these.

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    These are absolutely gorgeous, I need some to go with my bottle collection!

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    These are so unique and beautiful! Adding it to my gift ideas list!

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    I absolutely love these candles. I pray I am chosen one to adore my home with them

  • Reply
    Rachel Byrne
    June 14, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    I’d love to fill my home with these beautiful candles!

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    Beautiful, creative, and I can almost smell them!

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    Love these! I am going to order the pb jar for my mothers birthday and who knows what for me!

  • Reply
    Carol G
    June 14, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    Unique and very creative!

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    These are stunning. I just love the lime juice bottle pattern. It’s so gorgeous!!! I am going to have to order me a few of these.

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    These candles are all just so beautiful! Wow! Thanks for this introduction to another wonderful company.

  • Reply
    Donna Worth
    June 14, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    These are so beautiful! I love the lime juice bottles and the maple syrup bottle with their very clear designs. These would make wonderful gifts – for myself, too!

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    Too pretty to burn

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    Just beautiful.

  • Reply
    Kait St.
    June 14, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    They look so classy and natural. I wonder what they smell like in person.

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    These look great! This couple is very creative.

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Wow, these candles are really gorgeous! Such a great idea to use bottles as molds. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    These are beautiful! Love all the artisans that you are highlighting!

  • Reply
    Janine Daly
    June 14, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    These are so lovely!My husband and I collect old bottles. I have bookmarked their page. Maybe a surprise for christmas!

    • Reply
      June 14, 2015 at 2:39 pm

      I won’t say a word 😉

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    Life’s adventures indeed. This reminds me of something I hadn’t thought of in years. But as kids we used to put crayons into paper cups and put the cups in the closed up car in the middle of summer. Our hope was to melt the crayons and make candles. But somehow my mom always managed to back to car up a little too quickly and spill melted crayon all over everything. Crazy Mom! Didn’t she know hot cars were for making candles? GREG

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    Beeswax candles are the best! These are so unique. I love them. Thanks for highlighting thiis artistic group.

    • Reply
      June 14, 2015 at 2:07 pm

      Thanks for supporting the effort, Mary – these guys were fun to write about – I’d love to live their lifestyle 🙂

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    these are stunning works of art

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    these are stunning. they are works of art.

  • Reply
    nancy r
    June 14, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    These are beautiful! And love the eco-friendly side story…

    • Reply
      June 14, 2015 at 1:53 pm

      It’s funny, Nancy, because I don’t intentionally choose the artisans with a thought to that, but they have all turned out to have an eco-friendly bent.

  • Reply
    Jen McGeath
    June 14, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    So pretty and I bet they smell amazing!

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    These candles are gorgeous! Wonderful story, heading to their site now.

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    Just beautiful. I love bees wax candles because they don’t melt in the sun. These are extra special.
    Great find!

  • Reply
    Pamela G
    June 14, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    I am SO happy you found this site! I’ve already contacted them about a customer bottle order of the antique milk bottles from the diary my family ancestors used to run. If anyone out there owns a bottle from the Ross Grove Dairy, please contact me. I might be interested in purchasing it from you.

    • Reply
      June 14, 2015 at 1:39 pm

      That is such a great idea – I would love to do a custom order with a special bottle!

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    I love that they have such a wide range of styles.

  • Reply
    Linda L.
    June 14, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    These candles are amazing! I love the backstory about the British Navy and the lime cordial bottle. I’m sure that some of the other bottles could also tell interesting tales.

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    Just beautiful! An artistic and unique way to bring together a room…or a whole house!

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    Watched the video, love the candles, the goats and the chickens.

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 11:55 am

    The Beeswax Candle Set – antique bottle shaped – “TWO LIME JUICE” w/ flowers – by Pollen Arts – Md & Sm. is just amazing! Stunning work!

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 11:52 am

    Bees! They are so adorable. Thanks for sharing your posts. I am a lucky person to have a Bee Keeper as a friend. I don’t purchase marketed honey anymore. Raw Wildflower honey is so delicious!! The health benefits are a bonus too. 🙂

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 11:40 am

    So pretty, I don’t think I could bring myself to burn them! It would be like destroying a piece of art.

  • Reply
    Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious
    June 14, 2015 at 11:39 am

    These are so, so pretty, and would go with virtually any decor! I love them.

  • Reply
    Geremie Callaghan
    June 14, 2015 at 11:36 am

    The molds are so beautiful and add a completely fresh esthetic to the classic color and rich feel beeswax offers

  • Reply
    Margaret Pearson
    June 14, 2015 at 11:32 am

    I am allergic to most candles but beeswax ones are the exception. These are really beautiful

    • Reply
      June 14, 2015 at 11:34 am

      Oh wow, that’s interesting, but not surprising I guess since beeswax is so natural.

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 11:26 am

    Hi Sue, I love your blog and all your great features. These candles are absolutely beautiful! My kitchen is getting remodeled. Can’t wait to try some of your yummy recipes. Especially the many gluten free ones.

  • Reply
    Linda S
    June 14, 2015 at 11:19 am

    I think these candles are so unique and creative! Thanks Sue for this great give away!!

  • Reply
    renee huber
    June 14, 2015 at 11:13 am

    very interesting!

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 11:06 am

    Lovely AND fun! Dying to know which one will be chosen as the wedding gift. Off to peruse the site….

    • Reply
      June 14, 2015 at 11:09 am

      The shower gift has been chosen, and believe it or not, she chose the Milk & Honey set, not knowing that I had already chosen that as the giveaway prize!

  • Reply
    Gloria H
    June 14, 2015 at 11:02 am


  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 10:52 am

    These are truly works of art. Just beautiful.

  • Reply
    Alison H.
    June 14, 2015 at 10:51 am

    These candles are absolutely beautiful! Such creative people!

  • Reply
    Ann @ Dinner Is Served
    June 14, 2015 at 10:51 am

    Wow are these truly a work of art. I’m off to visit their Etsy store next!

  • Reply
    md white
    June 14, 2015 at 10:49 am

    Oh my! I love these! Absolutely beautiful. Hard to choose, I love the set they/you are gifting one of us!

  • Reply
    Linda G
    June 14, 2015 at 10:45 am

    Beautiful! I have never had a beeswax candle!

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 10:43 am

    these are gorgeous!

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 10:41 am

    Wow…these are lovely. I especially love the detail on the lime juice one.

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 10:34 am

    Those are beautiful candles.

  • Reply
    Carrie @Frugal Foodie Mama
    June 14, 2015 at 10:31 am

    These candles are absolutely beautiful! I want one of each, lol. 😉

  • Reply
    JD Georgia
    June 14, 2015 at 10:27 am

    Love the Snake Oil and Two Poisons trio!

    • Reply
      June 14, 2015 at 10:29 am

      The Snake Oil is great 🙂

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 10:26 am

    These are, by far, some of the most uniquely beautiful candles I’ve ever had the pleasure to see. What a cool couple and hip business. #beesrock

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 10:24 am

    Love these unique candles! Thanks for showing them to me.

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 10:22 am

    these are easily the most beautiful beeswax candles I’ve ever seen. They are so evocative that by the end of the post, I could smell the honey’

  • Reply
    Stephanie Dunphy
    June 14, 2015 at 10:21 am

    Beeswax candles are truly THE best. The shapes of these candles are so unique and photographed beautifully. Handcrafts are always best and their work of heart certainly shows. I have that Jumbo peanut butter jar. LOVE it.

  • Reply
    [email protected]+This+is+How+I+Cook
    June 14, 2015 at 10:16 am

    I think your daughter chose well. These are gorgeous candles and I am a candle person. I used to roll my own from thick beeswax sheets that I’d buy every year from a local beekeeper. Unfortunately he’s moved on and I have no place to buy the sheets. you have such great artisans Sue. I imagine that is a lot of fun!

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 10:10 am

    The artistry is beautiful! Hard to pick a favorite one. Want one of each.

    • Reply
      June 14, 2015 at 10:11 am

      I have a really hard time deciding which ones I like best, they all have their charms…even the ‘poison’ bottle 🙂

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Beautiful! These would make unique gifts!

    • Reply
      June 14, 2015 at 10:10 am

      They’re so well priced, Barb, they’d make great gifts – and it’s always so hard to find small gifts that are unusual!

  • Reply
    Tdress Davis
    June 14, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Works of art. Thrilled to learn they are fellow Arizonans! Hope to see lots more of their products.

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 10:02 am

    Wow, these are so beautiful! I love the story behind them, too!

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 9:21 am

    Those candles are incredible! I’ve never seen any as beautiful as these.

  • Reply
    Rebecca {foodie with family}
    June 14, 2015 at 8:44 am

    These are easily the most gorgeous candles I’ve ever seen. I love beeswax candles, too, so I’m in awe!

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 8:29 am

    These are beautiful – I love how elegant they are.

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 8:08 am

    They have to be the most beautiful candles I have ever seen.
    Great looking couple too:)

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    June 14, 2015 at 7:55 am

    Beautiful candles and so creative! Love beeswax candles 🙂

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 7:44 am

    I love beeswax candles! And these are just beautiful!

  • Reply
    Toni | BoulderLocavore
    June 14, 2015 at 7:35 am

    Sue these are extraordinary! I’ve not ever seen candles like these and love that they make them from bottles and jars. As I scrolled down I kept thinking I’d found my favorite then would fine another! Love their story as well. I think my favorites are the tall floral-themed bottle and the PB jar. Great find!

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 7:26 am

    Wow, these are some spectacular candles! What a creative idea—just beautiful!

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 7:02 am

    So charming and welcoming!