July 22, 2002 - "Unique Candle Maker"

If it's better to light one little candle than to curse the darkness, here's the story of an Assumption Parish man who has lit thousands. He can be found at the Sunshine Candle Shop in Labadieville.

Alan Arcement is a candle maker. He's a carver and a sculptor. At his little shop he turns out thousands of candles in dozens of patterns.  He has everything from Christmas, wedding and the ever popular Tiger candle.  Each candle requires dozens of dippings in and out of the was to create the many colored layers which Alan uses to make his unique designs.

He explains, "The rings are like the rings on a tree. Each line you see is a layer and maybe more than one."  And just like the rings on a tree, the lines represent growth in his life.  "I was once in the trucking business," says Alan, "and got out of that and into this. People thought I was going into something to make more money. To me, peace of mind has its cost."

But it still takes patience and skill. He has just 15 minutes to finish carving a candle before the wax becomes cool and hardens.  Although Alan's candles look too pretty to light, each one actually contains a small tea light, so they can be used over and over again.