Rev. 2002-03-03, 2003-07-14, 2007-04-23, 2008-04-17, -05-06, -05-11, -11-29, 2010-01-14, -10-07 (edits)
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Glass & Light Center
OVERVIEW - On this page, we explore using open flame light sources with glass. Chandeliers, which can use candles but rarely do these days, are on the fixtures page.
NIGHT LIGHTS - [2001-10-10 (posted to rec.crafts.glass)] I have spent
part of the day sketching solutions/goals with respect to making
blown glass oil candles.
|OIL LAMP -
Utilitarian oil and kerosene lamps once provided major lighting for homes,
farms, and businesses. From
a substantial bowl fuel is drawn by a wide wick adjustable in height with an external
knob to provide a broad yellow flame of varying height and brightness. A
glass chimney bulging at flame height provides protection from side drafts and a
uniform smooth flow of air for a steady rather than flickering flame.
One version of the oil lamp uses a glass globe with water in it to act as a lens to disburse the light. Another uses a metal mirror behind the flame to send more of the light onto a work area.
More modern oil lamps tend toward the artistic in design, but the fuel and wick require a controlled air flow.
|OIL CANDLE - I blew an oil candle, not
much, and used the fiberglass wick and Pyrex stem I bought over a
year ago in Austin. Make sure that you use candle oil and not
lamp oil, which, as the warning on the back of mine said, "gives
off damaging amounts of smoke." The light playing in the
clear oil and mildly colored and bubbled glass is fun to watch.
10/13/96 Hot Glass Bits #33 Example with
colored oil shown.
Wicks and glass tubes to support the wick are sold at candle craft places and rock candle supplier places http://wickstore.com/ has a sample set with a single funnel, 4 sizes of tube and wick 2010-01-14
Floating Wicks or Water Candles
are placed in a pool of vegetable oil in a glass and burn the oil.
Directions These may be shallow glass disks, plastic, or cork. For wedding
receptions or religious ceremonies. Showing my ignorance, Jewish
shabbos candles, can use floating wicks, burning olive oil can be just a
thin cork disk with a thin metal top and a hole for the wick.
Floating Candles -
The large glass bowl at right is half filled with water and has a glass bowl
floating in it with candle oil and an aluminum foil wrapped wick stuck on a wire with a coiled base to
hold it upright. The candle light goes out in all directions through the
colored oil, the glass of the inner bowl, the water and the outer bowl.
The flame here is too large (even momentarily shortened in this image) and
when the inner bowl floats near the edge, the flame smokes the inside of the
bowl. Why should it float to the side? Because there is a heating and air
conditioning duct roughly 6' up and 3' to the left and the moving air will shift
the bowl as there is almost no friction. This is a custard cup and the glass is
too thick, it almost sinks.
I reduced the size of the flame by adjusting the amount of wick showing to a small corner of the top. The wire's coil at the bottom should be large enough to keep the wick centered in the inner bowl. .2008-05-11
|A 2.5" clear glass form with a heavier base and a long wick this commercial floater is offered on Amazon at $9.50 for 5 or $30.95 a dozen (yes, it does not compute.) 2010-01-14|
This artist's work, photographed at Kittrell-Riffkind, is fused glass with a
candle wick extending from the top layer thru to a reservoir in the next layer.
The top lifts off off to fill the reservoir. In the piece at the left, the
wooden upright is a miniature rake for making sand patterns to sooth the mind.
Candle Types - There are tens of thousands of designs of manufactured candles and holders
for same, for some examples
http://www.discountcandleshop.com/ In addition, people making artistic
candles add millions of varieties more as whim drives them. But in making
glass holders for candles, there are, fortunately, a rather small group of
standard candles that are used in quantities that probably exceed millions per
day (as in 50 million people probably light a votive candle in church and 10
million light romantic tapers for dining.) The most common of these are (by
|Tea lights - These look like miniature votive candles with the important difference that they are always sold in a thin cup - previously always metal but now sometimes in clear plastic. The cup means they will burn in a small flame for a long time without spreading wax and thus can be used for a warmer or for decoration by being set on floating objects including flowers. Floating bowls should be deep enough that the rim extends above the flame to catch the light. LED tea lights are now available. 2008-05|
CANDLE HOLDERS - If a holder is made for a votive candle, the candle will burn for a very long time if the wax is held in close to the wick, the shape of a traditional candle cup. If it is allowed to spread out, it will not burn for nearly as long. A candle burning in a glass form shows off the glass much more if the flame is within the glass or if glass forms surround the flame as in chandeliers.
Fairy lights were
originally a brand name for kind of night light and low level night light.
The most memorable of these are made of Burmese glass (right) which is a
striking glass that changes color based on its reheating. Fairy lights use
small candles in a cup like tea lights and the marketing plan
was to make money selling supplies. Making the domes, which are open top
and bottom, is eased by knowing the bottom is cut and ground rather than being
all shaped by hand.
Contact Mike Firth