I love candles and candle holders. There are so many different designs for a candle holder; I am going to look at some of the basic styles such as votive, wrought iron, hurricane and crystal holder. In the beginning candles were made of tallow, very smoky and burnt very quickly. Later wax was used, but was expensive. Candle holders came into being to hold the candle and protect the user’s hand, but also to collect the wax and reuse it. Nowadays the simple candle holder has become an ornamental item and is used in interior design. They are available in many forms, styles and colors. There is something to appeal to everyone from votive holders to ones made from wrought iron, or glass and crystal.
Votive Candle Holders
This in one of the most common types of candle holder, but it comes from the votive meaning a devotion. The votive candle is probably the most common candle in the world, it is used as a spiritual offering, most often seen left burning in churches ad part of the prayer. The votive was used by the Romans and possible before, and is used around the world by many different spiritual groups. The votive candle used to be made of beeswax and is small, it will burn for 3-4 hours, and some are made to burn for longer.
In modern times, votive candles have become popular as mood lighting. Holders are required as the whole candle melts as it burns down. A votive candle holder today is the basic simple cup, often made from glass. There are many varieties of votive holder from plain glass to mosaic tiled glass, or frosted glass to colored glass. With so much choice it will be easy to find something for anyone! Simple colored glass candle holders are available from the local dollar store; specialist candle stores will have more elaborate designs.
Wrought Iron Candle Holders
Holders made from metal are much stronger in appearance and fact than glass and give a very different feel to the lighting. Wrought iron comes in a variety of finishes to suit any decor. Iron was used to hold candles back in the medieval times when they were hung on the walls for castle lighting. Wrought iron candle holders are available in floor standing units or wall mounted sconces or table top sized candelabras. The wrought iron can come in black or silver and is usually lacquered. Floor standing holders can be used for a single large candle or as a chandelier for many smaller candles. The chandelier effect is achieved using tea lights or votive candles. The candles are held on a metal dish or in glass cups, free to move in the breeze. This provides a bright sparkling light.
Hurricane Candle Holders
Hurricane lamps are basically an enclosure around the light to prevent it from going out in the wind. Initially candles were used in hurricane lamps, but oil was found to be much easier to use. Today candle hurricane candle lights are purely decorative and ornamental. The hurricane candle holder has a base with a removable glass shield around it. This shield is open at the top. The glass can be a simple cylinder shape, but is more likely to be shaped artistically with a bulb at the bottom narrowing to the top. The glass can be plain or decorated with patterns or frosting. There is another kind of hurricane candle, where dried flowers, leaves or shells are placed in the wax. The candle is meant to burn down leaving the outside untouched. Then the hurricane candle can be lit up using a tea light to show the design left in the wax shell. Sometimes the candle is scented.
Crystal Candle Holder
Glass and crystal in particular became popular in the 18Th century. It was around the time that glass makers in Czechoslovakia developed a new kind of lead crystal that would enable them to work it more easily and create more effects such as cutting, engraving or stenciling. The luster of the crystal was such that it became in great demand for household items such as candlesticks. Most glass candle holders are of the candelabra style with either a single candle or multiple holders. Cut glass bowls make effective floating candle bowls.
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