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64.0 by Omer Arbel

From concrete and copper to brass and wax, Vancouver-based Omer Arbel is known for his singular handling of materials. To wit, projects by the multidisciplinary designer and his eponymous office often emerge as artifacts of experimental and exploratory processes. The coral-like 64 candle is no different. Fragile and bespoke, it tests the limits of industrial methods, all while poetically evoking the rituals embedded in the everyday.

BY Evan Pavka
Photos by Fahim Kassam

64.0 by Omer Arbel - FeaturedImage_Made
64.0 by Omer Arbel - 2_Delicate-wax-filaments
64.0 by Omer Arbel - 3_Lattice-form-of-beeswax-frozen-in-a-block-of-ice
64.0 by Omer Arbel - 4_Fragile-lattice-form-of-candle-made-of-beeswax

1. First, solid beeswax is melted so it can be poured into a custom mould consisting of a standard five-gallon pail filled with shards of roughly crushed ice and a central void that contains a wick. As the honey-coloured substance meets the frozen base, the vessel is spun. This motion forces wax into cracks and openings, creating “tendrils” that extend from the core.

2. Once cooled, the form is removed from the pail and rinsed with water, allowing the remaining ice to steadily thaw without damaging the delicate wax filaments.

3. The distinct lattice unique to each version is then recast, frozen in a new block of ice, as the final object is too delicate to ship unprotected. Only when this second container melts—the last trace of its production—can the candle be lit. (It then melts itself.)

4.A natural evolution of the difficult-to-distribute design was the release of its “recipe” as a limited run of 64 non-fungible tokens (NFTs). “Certain concepts can be limited by the restraints of physical materials,” Arbel says, “so with an NFT we found a way to offer both [the physical] work and a conceptual idea.”

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