Used to be, you’d mark the passage of hours by how far a candle had burned down. But how about the minutes? How about a candle that marked off the passing of a therapist’s 50-minute session? Challenge for Industrial Designer! That’s me.
Key was designing a candle so shallow that the melt pool reaches all the way down to the containing dish, revealing an image on that dish. As the candle burns, the melt pool widens, revealing the image in an ever-widening concentric circle.
To illustrate the principle, I came up with an image consisting of concentric bands of pattern centered on the wick. The result is a wonderful aid for harried Americans looking a calming meditative experience. I call it the “Dream Timer.”
Successive bands of pattern appear first in 5 minute intervals, then 10. Following a full reveal the candle continues to burn for another 20-25 minutes but the flame becomes smoky and upon full reveal we recommend extinguishing it. Unusually, for a candle, once you extinguish it and the melt pool re-solidifies you can’t relight it.
Turns out, the principle is unusual enough that I was able to apply for patent pending. Manufacture is not simple. It involves over a dozen component parts, a custom wick, and a molded wax billet taller in the center.
What other kind of image calls for being unveiled from the center out over time? A minute timer, of course, and I may get round to that. But how about art? In the photo above you see my first series of Art Discovery lamps, Famous Artists Self Portraits. Faces are ideal. They challenge you to identify who the face belongs to as more is revealed. I make a set of six of these artists portraits, that come with no identification to spoil the surprise. Van Gog isn’t one of them, I use him just to demo the idea. And I have a seventh, that I sell as a single.
Future series: faces from ancient mosaics, and figures from medieval stained glass windows. Let me know if you’d like to learn when I offer new series–email@example.com. Meanwhile, you can buy items mentioned above at “SHAUN’S GALLERY” under “shop online” on the menu above.