An optical illusion candleholder has beaten the odds and gone well beyond the £5,200 ($8,352) goal for its Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, with a few days to go until the November 9 deadline.
The creator of the candleholder, called Flatlight, is Nir Chehanowski, a Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design graduate. Chehanowski has always played around with flat surfaces, said his studio partner Aya Brin, to see what could be done with traditional objects in two dimensions as opposed to three.
The idea of working with candlesticks came from his association with Shabbat candles and his family home, said Brin, but with the concept of something new, “adding a little fun.”
He ended up working with brass, a durable, rust-proof material that can be recycled and, more importantly, cut with a new technique called photochemical etching.
“This process corrosively machines away the finest details of my designs, on a piece of thin brass sheet, with the utmost precision, thanks to the chemical milling process it undergoes,” described Chehanowski on his Kickstarter page. “Unlike laser cutting, it does not create burrs or sharp edges and can be mass produced to the highest standards. And, it’s pretty neat to watch too.”
The product is 15 centimeters long by 6.4 centimeters wide (5.8 inches by 2.5 inches) and only 4 millimeters (0.01 inch) thick, and is light, durable and water resistant. It can also be cleaned with boiling water to wash away dripped wax.
The Flatlight has had “all kinds of buyers,” said Brin, partially because it’s great for travelers, as well as for Shabbat observers — advantages they hadn’t even considered. It’s also easily packaged and mailed, which isn’t all that common in the industrial design world. The pair worked on Flatlight packaging that’s easy and sturdy, said Brin.
“We just figured we’d try it,” said Brin of their online crowdfunding campaign. “Kickstarter offers access to the world at large. In one fell swoop, you go from anonymous to known. And other designers said we were really on to something with the candleholder.”
Now that they’ve passed the stated Kickstarter goal — having reached £6,697 ($10,756) — there’s a host of galleries and shops worldwide making contact with Chehanowski and the “response has been great,” Brin said.
“It’s an intensive process,” said Brin. “Now we have to work on connecting with everyone, but we’ll also be able to manufacture the Flatlight at a better price, which is why we did it with Kickstarter.”