lebanese artisans transform wax into bespoke sculptures for house of today's candle series

lebanese artisans transform wax into bespoke sculptures for house of today's candle series

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house of today launches the candle project

 

Lebanese non-profit House of Today has collaborated with ten local designers — including Richard Yasmine and Nada Debs — to launch its first curated and limited edition collection, dubbed The Candle Project. Unveiled on November 20th, 2023, the products are entirely made in Lebanon by artisans at the Centre Hospitalier Beit Chabeb, a rehabilitation hub for disabled patients. Through an extensive workshop, the team has reinterpreted an evolving object by sketching, testing, and transforming wax into artisanal sculptures. The proceeds from The Candle Project will go towards supporting the Beit Chabeb village and its initiatives, as well as the ten Lebanese designers, and towards House of Today’s mentorship program to cultivate Lebanon’s design scene. House of Today’s collection was set to launch as part of We Design Beirut’s four-day program, which is now postponed to March 2024 due to the ongoing Israel-Gaza war. 

lebanese artisans transform wax into bespoke sculptures for house of today's candle series
Sinking sun for another one by Richard Yasmine | image © Carl Halal

 

 

sculptural wax creations by lebanese designers and artisans

 

We kick off The Candle Project by House of Today (see more here) with ‘Sinking sun for another one’ by Richard Yasmine — a candle that embodies profound symbolism, evoking a celebration of renewal and growth, along with the belief that every sunset signifies not an end, but rather the promise of new beginnings. This concept infuses lighting a candle with deeper meaning, encouraging reflection and hope, and embracing life’s ever-changing cycles. It serves as a reminder that life’s journeys are filled with moments of transition and transformation. Aspiration Aline Asmar d’Amman comes next, inspired by the Lady of Lebanon statue in Harissa. The Grande Dame watching over the coast and the mountain above the clouds is anchored in popular culture and charisma, disrupting the landscape with her alluring presence. The candle serves as a poetic calling for elevation, a nod to the eternal hopes for a brighter Lebanon, the birthland of myths and legends, fragmented yet molten together in solid grounds. 

lebanese artisans transform wax into bespoke sculptures for house of today's candle series
Aspiration by Aline Asmar d’Amman | image © Carl Halal

 

 

Next up is the ‘Silhouettes’ sculpture by Tamara Barrage, which took shape following a deeply instinctive and naïve design process, as the designer describes it. A distinct form, only present in the Tamara’s imagination, was brought to life by sketching on paper. With a thin marker in hand, line after line, a new form was birthed. It captures the feel of hand-drawn sketches while preserving the instinctive feel of the candle. Flavie Audi adds to that intuitive touch with ‘Nothing is forever’, a candle that serves as a reminder that all things are transient. Even rocks that seem eternally solid and robust are impermanent and transform. The piece showcases two rocks swirling and spiraling together, joined in a bond evoking the cosmic entanglement between all beings and things. The affection in geological formations brings humans closer to nature as part of a temporary nature in which humanity is burning together.

lebanese artisans transform wax into bespoke sculptures for house of today's candle series
Silhouettes by Tamara Barrage | image © Carl Halal

 

 

‘Chrysalis’, meanwhile, pushes the boundaries of wax, exploring its texture and creating a captivating trompe-l’oeil effect. Designed by Carla Baz with a geometric nature, the delicate piece, once serving its initial purpose, transforms into a distinct object— a vase for dried flowers. This grants it a second life, embodying the values of hope and sustainability, emphasizing the importance of repurposing and extending the lifespan of cherished possessions. The organic lines of ‘Chrysalis’ are complemented by david/nicolas‘ geometric ‘STRAT’ candle, derived from the numerous layers of Lebanese architecture coupled with the country’s natural mountainous regions. The designers sought to grasp the essence of a typical Lebanese panorama, capturing the stark contrast between distant and soft mountain peaks and sharp, if not brutalist, architecture.

lebanese artisans transform wax into bespoke sculptures for house of today's candle series
Nothing is forever by Flavie Audi | image © Carl Halal

 

 

Moving on to Nada Debs‘ creation, ‘Spiritual Sphere’, this candle was originally carved in wood for meditation purposes. Staring at the degrading rhombus texture offers a mesmerizing experience and transports one to another realm. This state of existence was translated into a candle, which adds another layer of spirituality, where the light reflects on the texture and creates an even more enthralling effect. For 200 Grs, this project was an opportunity to explore the anatomy of a flame. Transcending the ordinary, the ‘Blrrrrr’ candle symbolizes transformation, lifting mundane thoughts to a higher plane of imagination, where everyday concerns blur away, and the mind opens up to new possibilities.

lebanese artisans transform wax into bespoke sculptures for house of today's candle series
Chrysalis by Carla Baz | image © Carl Halal

 

 

Completing House of Today’s The Candle Project are two final creations — starting with LimbObject‘s human-inspired sculpture, ‘I am here’, nodding to how wax melts, and in this experience, how a poetic discourse emerges about the transformation of its forms. From observing wax melting, forming soft droplets, and then hardening, the candle seeks to evoke a sense of intimacy and comfort. Mimicking a friend’s touch in times of distress and silently conveying ‘I am here for you,’ this feeling is captured in how candles offer light on dark nights. Last but not least, ‘Flaws’ by Sayar & Gharibeh draws inspiration from depicting a body with all its flaws. Portrayed as strong, confident, and joyful, the flaws on the candle serve as a powerful reminder that imperfections are beautiful and deserving of celebration. The candles prompt the viewer to embark on a journey of self-love and acceptance, transcending beyond societal standards in all shapes and sizes.

lebanese artisans transform wax into bespoke sculptures for house of today's candle series
Strat by david/nicolas | image © Carl Halal

lebanese artisans transform wax into bespoke sculptures for house of today's candle series
Spiritual sphere by Nada Debs | image © Carl Halal

lebanese artisans transform wax into bespoke sculptures for house of today's candle series
Blrrrrr by 200 Grs | image © Carl Halal

lebanese artisans transform wax into bespoke sculptures for house of today's candle series
I am here by LimbObject | image © Carl Halal

lebanese artisans transform wax into bespoke sculptures for house of today's candle series
Flaws by Sayar & Garibeh | image © Carl Halal

lebanese artisans transform wax into bespoke sculptures for house of today's candle series
The Candle Project by House of Today at Sursock Museum | image © Elie Abi Hanna

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artisan at work in Beit Chabeb, video screenshot | image © Carl Halal

 

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project info:

 

name: The Candle Project

launched by: House of Today @houseoftoday

artisan workshop at: Centre Hospitalier Beit Chabeb

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