Sunday, November 29, 2009

Frog Queen Folly #6

Since we have started decorating the downstairs inside of the shop like a church, you know, to match the facade, I decided to add a luminary to my collection.

The idea came about a few years ago at the Rocky Mountain Gathering in Salt Lake City. I was sitting with husband, and John and Jon from EFX-TEK and we were talking about the flickering candle kit they sold. I said I always liked it...but that having to run all the candles together, is a bit of a pain.....if you have candles all over the place, that means you have lots and lots of wire.

But what if you made a lot of candles in one that thing they have in church?

As we are sitting there trying to remember what they are called, it suddenly dawns on me that there may be hope for me see, I cannot remember what they are called either....after too many years of Catholic school with an endless stream of church services....I should know this.

But I have forgotten....

Yes, I really have forgotten.......YEAH! :D

Anyway, Jon makes a call, and we are enlightened (pun intended) to find that they are called luminaries.

I purchase a ridiculous amount of WickLED lights and a few Prop-1s from EFX-TEK at the wonder they were so helpful with this project :)

Back at home, husband builds me the holder and we drill holes to put the WickLED lights through where the candles will go.

Now, yes, I could have just used LED lights, but the WickLEDs from EFX-TEK are three LED lights together that flicker in a way that truly mimics candle light. In a project like this, I think it is an important detail.

Then I run all over town trying to find 48 white (dollar stores in the area only had a beige color.) I then light them all and have them burn part way down at varying depths. Then drill out the bottom of each one with a spade bit so that the base of the candle will fit over the LED lights, up into the candle. I then took a candle and melted wax along the base of each candle.

Husband wired all the lights and four Prop-1 controllers together, wrote bit of code (I believe he stared with the free downloadable code on their site) and put the holder on a small table. It worked perfectly.

Except that the candles I found were "clean linen" the church smells like fabric softener! :D

This year they came out with a new controller that allowed husband to control all the lights with one board...he was happy, he now had three new Prop-1 cards to play with :)

He added legs to the base as well as a match holder and money collection box at the front.

This year when I mounted the candles I used a small crock pot to melt the wax and pour it on the candles and the holder....much faster than melting with a candle.

It is just about perfect. (picture is just a little fuzzy :)

Now, if I could just find plastic votive holders! :D - something about fire and plastic.....I see where there would be a problem :D

The ones you see in most churches usually have the candles in (predominately) red glass holders. Since I have not been able to find a way to drill through glass without breaking it, I cannot use then. Any clear plastic cups....look like small clear plastic cups and not candle holders. I have tried using sheet plastic to make a cup, but the plastic is too thin and does not look like a votive holder.

Hope you enjoyed my latest folly...I have several more to share and many more to make!

Husband hates when I say "I have this cool idea, but it is not for the yard . . . " :D


  1. I love this piece =) I was always fascinated by the one that was in my old church. Great work.

  2. Chris, Portland has so many great glass artists. I'll bet you could persuade one of them to heat the bottoms of a bunch of glass votive holders and create holes for you. Maybe in exchange for a few gravestones for their own decorating pleasure?

  3. You're right in the idea that this piece deserved higher quality flickering effects. I imagine it's a stunning piece in person.


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