Finally get to post this! Struggled for months to find a way to make these damnable things work and be more or less efficient and practical while still looking like the ones from Skyrim. I also struggled with the photography - I wanted it to be dark enough to get a good glow from the candle, but not so dark that one would be unable to see the body of the candle.
So yes, these are Skyrim-inspired Horn Candleholders! I saw these in the game and just ADORED them for their distinctive and unique look. I immediately wanted to make them. I actually bought some wick and some beeswax and learned how to make candles just to do these, which is funny considering I decided to go a totally different direction with them in the end (but I like making beeswax candles - I might just keep at it. 3D printed jewelry and natural beeswax candles, a natural combination!).
What I discovered through experimentation is that as cool as these things look, they're a pretty stupid design for a practical candle. I made a test-candle which was basically exactly as you see them in the game - the candle was built directly into the horn, it burned down the length of the horn as one would expect. As the horn began to curve and the flame continued to burn straight up, however, I found myself surrounded by foul-smelling black smoke, and upon extinguishing the flame found that the horn had begun to melt and char.
As I pondered how to solve this problem, I went looking for local blacksmiths to make the stands. I didn't want to use plastic or resin; the cow horn was real and the beeswax was real, so why shouldn't the iron be real? In the end, I found a blacksmith in Ottawa who has just done a fantastic job with these and been the most helpful and enthusiastic guy I could have hoped for - Google 'Duke's Forge' if you're interested to see more of his work. In the end the stands were steel, not iron, but they were hand-beaten metal, and that was the point.
I continued wondering how I would solve the candle problem; not only could the horn potentially be damaged, but as I started to add up the price of all these pieces, I found that it would an expensive item to sell, especially if the candle just burned down in a few days and was rendered useless. I eventually decided to make it a reusable candle holder for tealight candles.
Thus came the next conundrum: I still wanted to use beeswax as the 'core' of the candle, to make it look as close as possible to the authentic real deal. How then, do you place a tea candle inside a hole in beeswax, without melting the beeswax? For a long time I thought about using coloured resin as a kind of fake wax, but was assured by the internet at large that it would look nothing like wax no matter what I did. Finally, a forumgoer on a craft forum offered me the perfect solution: rather than a normal tealight which would burn down and melt the wax and it did, why not use oil-fed tealights that burn the wick UP instead? That way the flame would remain high enough above the beeswax to avoid melting it.
A few Google searches and price comparisons later, and I had a box of twenty oil-fed tealight candles ready to go, and my candle holders were ready to go.
That explanation went on a LOT longer than I meant it to! I hope it was interesting and not just a very long and annoying ramble. I'll top it off by saying these candle-holders are available for sale on Etsy here: www.etsy.com/ca/listing/170337…
The second of my "Golden Wolf" mask experiments...
I decided to do a more stylized "Asian" flame motif on this one. I think I went...a little overboard on the flames! Not really sure if this is a viable pattern to offer repeatedly in my shop because it took SO long to carve.
Still, I like the results.
This mask is available (probably for a limited time...my last golden wolf lasted about three hours) at my online Etsy shop: [link]