Making a wedding candle stand - Bob Fredell 2006

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Darryl Ponder
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Making a wedding candle stand - Bob Fredell 2006

Unread post by Darryl Ponder » Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:37 pm

Wedding Unity Candle Stand
By Bob Fredell


The pastor of our church asked if I could make a candle stand to be used for weddings. He explained that it should be just large enough to hold three candles; one representing man, one representing woman and the third showing the unity of husband and wife. He went on to say that preferably the stand should not have many or large wedding symbols so it could be used for other occasions.

With those two requirements, the designing began. Right away I had a problem. I am a traditionalist by heart. Those of you who have seen the chandelier above our dining room table that I made, or have seen the candle holder by George Dixon hanging from our living room ceiling, will know what I mean. If it looks medieval, 18th century, or like some of Samuel Yellin's work, it strikes a note with me. Oh, oh, our church sanctuary is a three year old modern design.

What to do: adapt my thinking. Besides the parameters that the pastor set forth, I decided that it needed to be a contemporary design, but not what I would call one of those goofy designs with squiggly things. It needed to pick up the theme of the baptismal font; three legs, use of ceramics and the bowl shape.

The matter of appropriate, yet not overly obvious, wedding symbols was solved by my lovely wife, Mary. Mary made the appliquéd banners that hang between the three legs. The symbols on the banners have Christian wedding meanings. The banners may be easily removed for other uses. For example, it was recently used at a funeral to hold the cremains urn.

The stand is 38" tall and the table is 18" in diameter. The legs are 1" square stock.
The table, raised slightly above the bowl to give a floating look, is steel plate with a ceramic surface.

This stand would have more meaning if it could be made by several members of the church, rather than just me alone. I recruited Byron Hylen and Merlin Hanson of our congregation, to assist in the making of the stand. I knew that their lack of blacksmithing experience would be no problem because of how things went when we made the Advent wreath. (You may remember the article on the Advent wreath in the March, 2005 issue of Metalsmith.)

A space was needed between the 1" stock that supported the bowl, thus giving the impression of outreached arms supporting the bowl of baptism. Steel balls would fit the bill perfectly. Joe Kramolisch to the rescue–he donated the steel balls which were heated and rubbed with a brass brush.

Making the bowls presented a bit of a dilemma, as I am incapable of making a bowl. A call to Keith Johnson solved the problem. Keith made and donated a lovely large bowl that supports the table, and also made another fine small bowl that supports the unity candle.


Three small supports inside the bowl made nonvisible supports for the table. Three holes in the steel table were placed over the supports and were plug welded with an acetylene torch. Oh, oh, big time warp. Get a new steel table and try again. Wouldn't you think that I would stick weld it the second time? Failure to learn the first time around turned into another warped table, although only slightly so.

We hired the potter who made the baptismal font and the ceramic communion service to make a matching ceramic table top. The ceramic top was cemented to the steel table.

The husband and wife candle holders are slightly cupped, and are supported by three legs attached with brass rivets. The small ceramic topped stand between the husband and wife candle holders elevates the unity candle holder (purchased item) and its candle.

All elements of the unity candle stand, except for the steel table, were joined with steel rivets and decorated with bronze rosettes.

We believe that we have a fine wedding candle stand. More than that, we had a wonderful experience working together on the project.


Unity Wedding Candle Stand Photo Captions 8-4-06

The name if the file is in bold at the left. Description follows to the right.

09 Rosette 2. This photo shows the joining of the three legs to the supports.

Rosette crop. Here is seen a detail of an iron rivet head and its bronze rosette.

02 Merlin 1. Merlin Hanson Working at the forge.

03 Merlin 2. Merlin Hanson using the treadle hammer to incise a decorative line.

04 Byron 3. Byron Hylen using the hammer and anvil to incise a decorative line.

05 Merlin 3. Merlin Hanson shaping one of the elements into a cylinder that joins the legs.

14 Banners lighter. The three banners that hang between the legs of the stand are here seen together. (See BFredell05, 06,and 07, below for a description.)

BFredell01. The wedding candle stand and the baptismal font are placed together to show their similarity.

BFredell05. The banner shows the chi rho with intertwined wedding rings and hearts.

BFredell06. The banner shows the chi rho with wedding candles based in the blue waters of the baptismal font.

BFredell07. The banner shows the chi rho with the crowned and intertwined hearts.

BFredell08. The wedding candle stand.

BFredell09. This photo shows the detail of a rivet head and rosette.

BFredella01. Close-up of the table top and candle holders.

Photo credits.
Stephen Cook
Bob Fredell
02 Merlin 1.JPG
02 Merlin 1.JPG (1.07 MiB) Viewed 2532 times
03 Merlin 2.JPG
03 Merlin 2.JPG (1.02 MiB) Viewed 2532 times
04 Byron 3JPG.JPG
04 Byron 3JPG.JPG (1.01 MiB) Viewed 2532 times
05 Merlin 3.JPG
05 Merlin 3.JPG (1.02 MiB) Viewed 2532 times
09 Rosette 2.JPG
09 Rosette 2.JPG (523.95 KiB) Viewed 2531 times
14 Banners lighter.JPG
14 Banners lighter.JPG (1.05 MiB) Viewed 2531 times
BFredell01.jpg
BFredell01.jpg (565.6 KiB) Viewed 2531 times
BFredell05.jpg
BFredell05.jpg (388.5 KiB) Viewed 2531 times
BFredell06.jpg
BFredell06.jpg (403.92 KiB) Viewed 2531 times
BFredell07.jpg
BFredell07.jpg (409.17 KiB) Viewed 2531 times
BFredell08.jpg
BFredell08.jpg (558.5 KiB) Viewed 2531 times
BFredell09.jpg
BFredell09.jpg (261.02 KiB) Viewed 2531 times
BFredell-a01.jpg
BFredell-a01.jpg (232.23 KiB) Viewed 2531 times
Rosette crop.jpg
Rosette crop.jpg (41.65 KiB) Viewed 2531 times

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