A candle holder can provide a beautiful solitary experience, or be a part of a shared one. You may simply enjoy lighting a candle or two as the sun sets to create a warm glow within your own four walls. Or, a candle holder may conjure images of a subtly flickering glow during an evening overflowing with good food, good conversation and good friends.
This year, as our focus moves much closer to home, we’re sharing a collection of artist-made candle holders created with the idea of gathering and connecting, front of mind.
We chose to work collaboratively with a small group of seven artists and designers whose work we admire and relationships we hold dear: Grace Brown of Oh Hey Grace, Ella Bendrups, Hana Vasak of Dáša, Kerryn Levy, Ashley Corbett-Smith of Studio ac-s, Tessy King and Ebony Russell.
And this year it feels perfect to present a tight collection of objects that hold tremendous value and personal significance, to be gifted to someone who could use a little extra dash of joy.
Our Christmas celebrations may be more intimate this year, but they’ll be no less celebratory. Whether you’re at home with a few loved ones relishing good company and small moments, or surrounded by friends and family in a flurry of laughter and great times, this collection of handmade candle holders will act as objects of virtue, joy and genuine connection at a time of year that naturally brings us closer together.
“Now more than ever I reflect on the importance of celebrating moments with those close to me. The act of gathering, setting the table, lighting candles, and sharing a meal with friends and family has always been significant to me. Lighting a candle and creating a space for quiet reflection and celebration of the small moments is an important ritual to nurture, particularly in 2020,” says Grace.
“What I love about the candle holder is that its sculptural potential goes beyond the object itself. The holder changes over time as dripping wax adds to the form. There is an exchange between all of the elements – the candle, the candle holder and the ritual of hands lighting the candle. The result is a beautiful messy mass of wax droplets that appear as liquid held in suspension,” says Tessy.
“The ‘Jeff’ – being the first product I made commercially – will always have a special significance to me. In addition to the personal value, it signifies a more romantic or emotive quality of light and illumination. Electric lights are a consistent and even source of light while a candle flickers and has a completely different warmth, making a space feel inviting. I have a bunch at home. I believe as a gift a candle holder is both practical and personal; it is an object that is to be used, helps contribute to the atmosphere of a space and will last for a very long time if looked after,” says Ashley.
“Having a candle holder on the table primarily signifies celebration to me; the flickering flames fostering a sense of warmth and intimacy for a gathered group. It’s also a gift of connection with the ability to bring focus to a space or an occasion in a home; they are of service in both personal ritual and gatherings alike,” says Ella.
“The first object and most significant piece of ceramic art I own is a candle holder. The lighting of this candle was so special and rare that the wax is preserved and the scent takes me back to my childhood in an instance. Childhood reverie and the nostalgic longing overwhelms me. My candle holders are imbued with memory and desire. Butterflies and roses decorated with lustrous pearls and glittering embellishments wait for their moment to shine. The lighting of their candle is the only way to break their frozen spell and give them life again. They forlornly wait trying to capture you in their fairytale spell,” says Ebony.
“The candle holder is an object I’ve always been drawn to. Over time, it’s become an object that has is deeply embedded in my own rituals; used when I need to hold space for myself, set intentions, even during cleaning, burning a candle to sage my room and home. Also, this year I’ve been indulging in a few too many baths and enjoying each one by candlelight,” says Hana.
“Gifting a hand-made object is incredibly special as it’s completely unique, each one with its own slightly different characteristics and marks of the maker. Every time it is used or regarded, each time a candle is lit, the user is reminded of the person who gifted it to them – the person who picked it out, maybe felt it in their hands, decided it was the perfect fit. These small but significant moments of connection are particularly important now when so many of us have felt isolated or disconnected. It’s a small reminder that someone is thinking of and loving us,” says Kerryn.