This week's blog was written by painter Jennie O'Connor. Jennie interviewed Jamie Gilmore of Bee Lux Candles.
How long have you been a part of Artistic Portland, and what appealed to you about joining the Co-op? I’ve been with Artistic Portland since October 2016. I wanted to join to be part of the Artistic Portland community and to have a place to sell my beeswax creations.
What’s your background? My background is finance and law. For over 25 years, I worked in Portland as a trust and estate paralegal with an emphasis on tax work. Prior to that, I lived in Los Angeles and worked as an internal financial auditor, real estate agent (sold condos on the beach!), and mortgage loan officer. I was born and raised in LA and graduated from USC with a degree in Finance.
Why do you do what you do? I work with beeswax because for me, it is a magical and miraculous substance – I love everything about it – the way it looks, smells, feels, and burns… It’s endlessly intriguing to me.
Describe yourself in one word. Why that word? One word to describe me… curious. I am extremely curious about how things work and how they are made. I research a lot of things that seem to have no bearing on me or what I am doing, but I’m just so curious.
What kind of creative patterns, routines, or rituals do you have? I guess I would say that I like to scour thrift shops, EBay and Etsy for interesting objects that would make cool candles. Also, I conduct burn tests with new candles and wicks, which is fun to do while I’m not making candles. Cleaning the beeswax is also one of my “routines” – it’s mostly a passive task, but it takes a couple of days and there are several steps to it.
What’s your favorite piece you’ve ever created? Too many to choose… but if I had to choose only one of my 200+ molds to keep, it would be the footed St. Nicholas – I put a huge amount of time and effort into finding it, and now I also own the master (from which the vintage candle company(ies) made their molds). The footed St. Nicholas candle is not particularly impressive nor is it a customer favorite, but for whatever reason, I love it.
If you could wake up tomorrow with a new artistic skill, what would it be? Definitely pottery skills
What do you like to do when you’re not creating? I love cooking for family and friends, gardening, traveling, reading, working on genealogy, and camping.