Lava Candelabra are cast concrete candlesticks, which look like little volcanoes:
Their rough exteriors are like hardened igneous rock, and the orange candles evoke the molten lava within. Once ignited, they bring a hypnotic, cosy glow to any domestic setting.
How are they made?
I make the initial models with polyurethane foam - a sticky, fizzy material which oozes and expands like erupting magma:
I cover these puffy piles of foam with silicon rubber, to create a flexible mould:
And then fill the moulds with Jesmonite - a hard, weighty, cement-like material:
The Jesmonite contains fine pieces of crushed stone, which give the candlesticks a coarse, rugged surface - like that of basalt, or pumice.
Lava Candelabra are part of Quickstarter - a series of quick, simple Kickstarter campaigns, which are developed and fulfilled in a short amount of time. I have launched this campaign alongside thirteen other designers across the world, who have each launched their own individual Quickstarters. The project has been a great creative exercise, and a fun way of quickly bringing a simple product into the world!
Each Quickstarter follows the same criteria:
The product must be designed and prototyped in under 3 months, and launched on Kickstarter. The campaign must be under 20 days. The funding goal has to be below £1000. The main reward must be under £50. The video has to be shot in one day, with whatever camera you have (smartphone highly recommended). The campaign must include 'Quickstarter' in the title. No stretch goals, no paid ads.
A prime specimen of basaltic beauty. Highly appealing for volcanologists, interior designers, conceptual chandlers, amateur geologists, mood lighting aficionados, and pretty much everyone else too!
A truly igneous choice. Bringing double the geothermic glow to your home or workplace.
Let the pyroclastic party begin, with this luminous landscape of lava. A full rocky skyline of molten mountains to enliven your interior.
Short Candelabrum = 115 x 90 x 30mm
Tall Candelabrum = 100 x 100 x 50mm
Each candelabrum comes with x1 orange Bolsius tea light - the most vibrant and lava-looking brand of candle in existence.
Each candelabrum is treated with Jesmonite Flexiguard Sealer - an invisible sealer which makes the candelabra water and stain resistant. To clean off any melted wax, submerge the candelabra in hot water until the wax turns soft, then scrub it off with soap.
I will be casting the candlesticks myself in my studio. I have already made two silicon moulds, from which I formed the prototypes. In order to carry out a full batch production, I will need to make several more moulds, and invest in some more equipment. I have prepared a big order of silicon, brushes, Jesmonite, Jesmonite sealer, mixing bowls, mixing paddles, and various other necessary mould-making, casting and packaging materials. As soon as the campaign is funded, I will confirm the order and get started!
Kilauea disaster relief
I started to develop the Lava Candelabra campaign in April 2018 - about a month before the lava flows of Kilauea began to devastate Hawaii. My design concept was motivated purely by the aesthetic properties of lava, and its value as an intriguing natural phenomenon - it was never intended to be exploitative or unconscientious in any way. Out of sensitivity and respect to those who have been affected by this crisis, I will be making a donation to the American Red Cross Hawaii, who have been providing essential disaster relief throughout this destructive time.
Beyond the Candelabra
`This project emerged from an ongoing series of experiments which I conduct in my studio. I dedicate almost all my spare moments to folding, pouring, crushing, moulding, melting, twisting, crinkling and extruding various materials, in hopes of discovering something interesting. Sometimes I do discover something interesting, and it evolves into a fully realised design.
Most noteworthy are my Cardboard Ceramics, which were funded on Kickstarter in 2016, and are now regularly stocked by several retail shops. I bought a kiln with the Kickstarter funds, and used it to create my Crisp Bowls, which were also very well received, and have been proudly exhibited in design galleries.
So far, my design process has been serving me well, and Kickstarter has been a fantastic help for getting my work off the ground! All the generous pledges from my backers have enabled me to turn my prototypes into real products, and to send them out into the world for the first time, assisted by motivating encouragement and constructive criticism. Your contributions to this campaign will very much fortify my current trajectory - helping me to grow my independent design business, and develop more weird and wonderful products. I have the imagination and the motivation, but it all becomes fully activated with your faith and support :-)
Risks and challenges
I launched a Kickstarter campaign 2016, entitled Cardboard Ceramics. It was successfully funded, and I delivered all the rewards in a timely and responsive fashion - regularly communicating with my backers throughout the whole process.
I have taken everything I learned from this previous Kickstarter experience, and applied it to Lava Candelabra. I have designed a product which is very well suited for the Kickstarter format - there are very few materials and components involved, each unit is relatively quick and straightforward to produce, and the material is robust - so there is little chance of it breaking in the post. I have also created a large number of prototypes, to have a good idea of how the overall production will work out.
However - you never know what will happen on the day! Although the Candelabra making process is relatively straightforward, there are likely to be teething problems which arise when I scale up the production volume. I will need to figure out the best rhythm of working - how to fit in the production process around the rest of my working life.
Whatever happens, I will regularly update you about how it is all going over here, so we are all on the same page. Its all part of the journey as they say! And I'm very happy to have you along for the ride :-)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (20 days)