Art meets wax in the sculptural forms created by 31-year-old Kazakhstan native Polina Fridberg. Appropriately, her candle brand, which she launched in January 2022, is called Sculptos.
With a bachelor's degree in business management and having majored in marketing, Fridberg got her start working for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) corporations. During this time — 10 years of the artist's life — she fell in love with launching new brands, developing products, and designing marketing campaigns. Her love of creation grew to the point when Fridberg needed to express this feeling with her own hands.
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"After a season of the pandemic and a lot of isolation, I desperately needed tactile experiences and fresh ideas," the creator tells Hunker. "One day, I imagined myself being a sculptor. That was the day when I decided to change my life and try new things that I have never done before. I knew nothing about candles, sculpture, 3D models, molds."
Fueled by coffee, Fridberg spent three sleepless days conducting research on how to bring her wax visions to life. That same month, she created her Pleat, Wave, and Bauhaus candles. (Art meets wax and puzzles in the latter.)
Featuring interlocking geometric shapes and lines that undulate and pucker, Sculptos' taper and pillar candles are inspired by textiles, stories of time travel, abstract geometry, surreal adventures, architecture, fashion, furniture, and nature. For instance, "the Pleat candle may transport you to a Greek wedding among the white stone houses of Santorini, [while] the Wave candle reflects the free spirit of Malibu waves — my favorite place for dreaming."
Then, when night comes and her muses are transformed by darkness, Fridberg reaps even more fodder for her imagination. "The process of product ideating is not just a daytime job for me, but rather a 24/7 endless world of creation in my mind," she says.
With an idea in mind, each candle starts as a sketch in Carlsbad, California (the state where the artist has lived for the last eight years), before becoming a 3D model that will be made into a custom mold. Using a blend of beeswax and soy wax to enhance the texture and shape, each candle is hand-poured. "Through a lot of testing we eventually find a way to make it right," Fridberg adds.
The wax sculptor's mission is to spread the language of candles: love, affinity, and care. "When candles are lit, humans tend to express true emotions, have intimate conversations, foster real connection, and develop mutual trust," Fridberg says. "These are the most valuable things in our lives. If we can connect souls together with a candle, that is a wonder, isn't it?"
The artist is currently working on the Sculptos fall and holiday collections, which will feature classic candles that have a modern, minimalist twist. Through her work, Fridberg aims to elevate wax, a material that is often underrated, as she shows that the creamy, natural texture of this substance can provide people with warmth, light, and a true sense of home.