Wire work is a popular art, which was particularly productive in the 19th century.
To celebrate the simple, folk-art pieces of the past, here are some flower-shaped wire candle holders
you can make with a pair of pliers and some wire. These airy little candlesticks will add a lovely, poetic touch to your holiday table settings.
Cut over one meter of soft wire (1.2 mm diameter, or 16 gauge).
Start by shaping what will hold the base of the candle: a spiral with a round loop above.
Use your pliers to shape and turn the wire. Fit the candle in the base you made to make sure the loop is nice and round, and large enough.
The loop should not fit too tightly around the candle.
Then shape your first upward "hump," followed by an outward "petal." Repeat this step three times, so you have four upright humps
- which will help hold the candle upright and in place - and four flower petals opening out.
Slide the upward "humps" inside the round loop you made in the first step.
Now slide the candle into the holder. Adjust the petals and upright humps so the candle stick is very steady.
For this step, you can use either your hands or the pliers to bend the wire.
Once you are satisfied with the shape, bend the wire around the uprights one more time,
and then fasten the end in place by making a hook and hooking it to the first loop.
Cut the wire. Your candlestick is finished!
Using this same method, you can of course make all sort of different shaped flowers,
by making the petals wider or narrower, greater or fewer in number,
and varying the height, width, and number of the upright humps.
You can also decide to paint the candle holder, but remember that the raw look of the wire is part of what makes wire an interesting medium.
It will develop a patina over time and become matte.
Or, make a more decorative variant by twisting some cotton thread around the wire and stringing on a few beads.
Wear protective goggles for this craft. A little clumsiness with the wire could be very dangerous for the eyes.