Though the progress for my project isn’t necessarily at the place I want to be yet, I have still made some solid progress regarding the prototyping stage. Ensuring that I allowed enough time for a prototyping stage has proven to be both helpful and essential to the success of many projects I have done in the past, especially this specific one. There are several reasons why this stage is essential, one of the major being: that even if a step may seem pretty simple, it could (and has proven) to take much longer than expected. For example, in my upcycling project, the step that took the longest was actually the step that I thought would be the easiest. This surprisingly difficult/time-consuming step was taking the lids off of the yerba mate cans using a can opener. Though it may seem like a fairly simple action, the reason it was much harder than expected was that even though I was able to take the lids of the cans relatively quickly, it was very difficult to do so in a clean, non-messy, professional manner. Each time I attempted to remove the lid from a yerba mate can, the cut was either super cooked or jagged. This frustrated me immensely, and I did not move onto the next step of the project until I had at least 10 cans with lids that looked as though they were removed and handles by a professional craftsperson. If I hadn’t figured out how long it would take to remove the lids of the cans in a clean, professional-looking way during the prototyping stage, I probably would not have been able to complete the entirety of the project by the time it was due. The next part of the project I have been working on is melting the wax in a pot on the stove, mixing in the essential oils to add (natural/organic) fragrance to the candles, and then pouring the melted wax from the pot into a yerba mate can. Once more, though this step seems relatively straight-forward step, I faced some difficulty dealing with a medium (wax) that I do not have much experience with. When I went to pour the wax into the first yerba mate can during the prototyping stage, I just took the pot right off the stove and began pouring. As soon as I began to do so, the wax began spilling on the edges of the pot and all over the kitchen counter instead of directly into the yerba mate can. This was very frustrating because the wax began to stick all over the place, making it very difficult to clean up, and then in addition to that, because so much wax had been poured onto the counter instead of inside the yerba mate can, I just wasted at least $20 worth of materials. As a broke college student. this was something that really frustrated me. However, there was no way of knowing how the wax would react when pouring it into the can until I actually did so, so even though it didn’t happen the way I had planned for, I was able to learn how to do better the next time I would pour the hot wax into the can. Once my prototyping stage was over, I plan to fill each can with wax over the course of two days- leaving room for unexpected errors. I have already collected all of the materials I need, which are: the empty yerba mate cans, the candle wicks, the sticky dots to stick the candle wick inside of the can, the organic wax to melt, the organic essential oils for natural fragrance, and a thrifted pot to heat up the wax on the stove.

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