PIGEON FORGE (WATE) - This time of the year people are flocking to Dollywood for some good old fashioned fun. But nestled in most of the shops there, you can also find specialized, hand-crafted items, complete with a hands-on demonstration.
This summer we are taking a look at several great local products being produced in Dollywood, a place you might not think of a shopping destination.
Once you walk in the door of Old Flames Candles, you find all kinds of candles and a dip-it-yourself station, but what many are drawn to is watching the candle makers as they work.
The day 6 News stopped by, Tina Compton was hand dipping candles, like they've been made for centuries.
"It's a dying art. Not a lot of people do it like this anymore," she said.
Compton makes the shop's popular "cut and curl" candle.
"These will all be a little different because they are handmade, so there won't be any just alike," she said.
A "cut and curl" starts with a star-shaped candle that is dipped in 160 degree wax, then water, then back in wax again and again.
"These candles will get about 40-60 dips," Compton said.
The idea is to build up layers of different colored wax, but these ladies have to move quickly and begin carving while the candle is still warm and the wax is still pliable.
Next it's cutting, curling and twisting, each piece by hand. Then the base of the candle is leveled on a hot griddle and dipped one last time in a sealer to give the candle its sheen.
All this only takes a matter of minutes for these pros, but year-round the candle makers here are also busy with other creations.
A lot of their work includes making hundreds of fun shaped double candles used in the self-dipping wax station. It's a popular and affordable activity, popular with kids and teens.
Old Flames Candles also takes special orders for all kinds of events, including weddings.