At the end of BEAR’s Fall Chapter, each person who had walked with our rangers through the prairie, crawled down into the den, listened to my story – each person received one of these bear candles to light the dark winter nights.
When I make these shows people end up giving me wee toys/sculptures of the animal I’m working on. I’ve got a few bear miniatures sitting on my desk. I made my own clay bear – based on looking at these other small bears. Then I 3D scanned my clay bear. And from this scan, I worked with Will Arnold and Kiley Reed-Black to 3D print a few resin bears. I gave the resin bears to Mike Collins. I figured out how many pounds of bulk beeswax we needed to make 900 2″x3.5″ candles. Mike set up shop in his garage, pulled some molds, and cranked out all 900 bears. We had about 700 people come on our Fall tours, so we’ve got a few candles left. Would you like one?
Candles and candle light were part of BEAR’s story. In the United States, Groundhog Day marks Spring’s potential. In parts of Europe, it’s not Groundhog Day, it’s Bear Day. Bear Day and Candlemas share the same day. St. Blaise, a huge bear of a man and the patron saint of Candlemas, blew out the Winter and welcomed Spring with a great fart. Like St. Blaise, bear dens stink. In winter’s depths a bear’s den might be found by searching the forest for a steaming, stinking, yellowish fissure in the snow – a bear’s breathing hole. Villages at the base of the Pyrenees would usher in the spring by choosing a young man to be The Bear. A young woman was chosen to be The Goddess. The Bear terrorized the townspeople before being led into a hall where a great table was laden with cake and wine. The Goddess and The Bear made love. The villagers ate the cake and drank the wine. The World was born anew. Love makes the crops grow. Love makes the world turn, with candlelight and bears.
The candle is roughly 2″ high at the shoulder and 3.5″ long. It’s made of beeswax. For most folks I’d charge, uh, you know, hundreds of dollars, but for you? Five. I’m charging you $5. Plus $4 for shipping. Cuz tiny beeswax bears are delicate creatures.