My inspiration for this project came from a few different things. First, I really wanted to use the most basic materials I could to create something new and artistic. I didn’t want to go to the store and buy a bunch of new material for my project. I wanted to create something that anybody could create with common household goods. I started to look through my drawers and various cabinets. I realized that my roommate and I have plenty of light bulbs not being used. Once I decided on doing my project with light bulbs, I researched some cool options that I could create in my home. The most appealing project to me was the candle made out of a light bulb. It doesn’t require purchasing anything besides some cotton rope and lamp oil. I think it is a really cool idea for a number of reasons. First, it is sort of ironic how you can create a candle out of something that is meant to provide light in another form. Second, I noticed that you can get really creative with the light bulb candle idea. Light bulbs come in many different colors, which allows for plenty of creativity with the design. Also, the smooth glassy appearance of light bulbs allows for plenty of space to create a functional art piece. Lastly, light bulbs are very inexpensive and you can make plenty of these candles if you wanted to. Below are some examples of inspirations I used for this project.
I am not sure how this is done, I feel like the bulb would run out of oxygen or get too hot. Either way, it is a very cool aesthetic.
These are very popular candles called “Glassybaby” candles that give some of their proceeds to charity. I like how diverse the color range is and how simple the candles are.
This is exactly what I am going for with my project, something very simple but very appealing.
This photo is what inspired me to try to get my light bulb to float.
I tried getting my light bulbs to tilt like this, but the washer I used as a base wasn’t large enough to support the moment.
The design process seemed pretty linear for the most part, but there were some points where I had to reevaluate what I was doing. The required materials are a light bulb, metal washer, lamp oil, cotton string, hot glue, and pliers.
The general procedure is fairly simple (but messy) to follow. You first need to remove the insulation from the threads of the light bulb. This requires breaking the glass insulation with some sort of sharp tool, I just used scissors. After doing this, you need to somehow remove the glass mount and filament from the inside of the bulb. There is no simple way of going about this, and it creates quite a mess. I used pliers to remove the insides of the bulb, which led to a few cuts on my hands from the glass.
After this point, you can be pretty creative with how you want to proceed. I opted to stick with the basic design; using only the materials I had lying around. In order to keep the wick from falling into the light bulb, you need to glue a washer onto the opening of the blub. This creates a small diameter hole for the cotton wick to sit on top of. You also need to create some sort of base for the light bulb to sit on without falling over. You could get very creative with this portion of the project, but I simply used a washer to balance the bulb. This gives the impression of a minimalistic design and makes it seem like the bulb is balancing on its own.
The final portion of the project involves pouring lamp oil into the bulb and knotting a cotton string to act as the wick. Once the string soaks up enough oil, it will burn constantly. I had an issue with this portion, because I tried to use a shoestring instead of purchasing a cotton string. I was hoping to stick with the theme of minimalism, but it turns out polyester burns too fast to keep a constant flame going. It also gives off a very nasty odor.
At this point, I definitely want to refine the design to appear more artistic. The glass candle definitely meets my functional goals for the project. With a cotton string, the light bulb creates a constant flame that is small enough to put almost anywhere in you house. However, I must say that I failed to meet my artistic goals. In the future, I definitely want to add more color and creativity to the design of the candle. Instead of having a washer as a base, I think it would be cool to have some sort of structure that holds the light bulb at a tilt. If I could somehow get the light bulb to float in liquid while it is lit (maybe using some sort of anchor), it would look incredibly unique with dim lighting.