A design that appeals to animal lovers, designers and gothic types; Pyropet in homes and stores around the world!
Have you ever seen the candles that burn to expose the skeleton of the enimal inside? If not, you are in for a treat. We had the chance to interview the founders and designer of Pyropets to learn how the idea came to life and into stores and home all over the world. AND, read to the end for a giveaway. We are giving away 3 pyropet candles!
The idea of the Pyropet candles came about when Thórunn was studying at Royal College of Art in London in 2010.
“I was thinking about the way we use candles today. The shape of a tea light or a candlestick makes sense, because its form follows function to provide light. But the purpose of candles in different shapes really puzzle me. Why make them into elaborate shapes when they are going to be all deformed and creepy when they are in use? I saw potential in there to make something more out of this experience of burning a candle. To make the candle into a sort of a theatre of macabre in wax. Lighting a Pyropet candle is like a romantic film that turns into a horror satire.”
After exhibiting the cat candles (called “The Devil’s Pet” back then) in Milan and at her graduation show in London, they quickly gained a lot of attention on the internet. She joined forces with Dan Koval, and they launched a Kickstarter campaign to finance their little startup. The campaign was a great success, in only 4 days they had reached their funding goal and at the end of the campaign they had reached 250% of their initial goal. Thorunn and Dan founded PyroPet Candle Company and are now selling Kisa in shops and galleries all around the world.
Today Thorunn and Dan run a design brand called 54Celsius, which focuses on the unexpected. The Pyropet candles are marketed and sold under this brand, and recently they added another product range to their collection: Secret Message Candles, candles that reveal a secret message as they burn. The Pyropet collection now has 7 animals, who all have an Icelandic name: Kisa cat, Bíbí bird, Hoppa bunny, Dýri reindeer, Ugla owl, Dreki dragon and Einar unicorn.
Developing the candles: It required quite a lot of trial and error, lots of prototypes and testing to get the candle to burn the way it should burn. The wax needs to melt away from the skeleton so that it will be revealed, but we also didn’t want the candle to burn too quickly or create a lot of soot. This is all a delicate balance between the type of wax, the size and position of the wick, the position of the skeleton, the material of the skeleton etc… We worked closely with the candle factory from the beginning to develop special types of moulds and techniques to be able to cast the skeletons inside the candles.
It’s always fun to watch people’s faces when they see the Pyropets for the first time. We’ve witnessed so many people quickly walk past our stand at trade shows, then twisting their neck 180 degrees as they walk while trying to understand what on earth they’re looking at, and then eventually pulling their partner’s arm and point at them laughing hysterically. And the joy seems to stretch through a wide range of ages and personality types. They seem to appeal to animal lovers, design enthusiasts as well as gothic types, a very surprising but interesting mix of people.
Of course there are also few people that just get terribly offended by the candles. We try to keep the design not too realistic as an animal, as we definitely don’t want people to connect it to any type of animal torture. The focus is on the candle itself and it’s transformation. In a way it’s also a representation of the duality of animals, their well behaved pet side and their wilder nature.
Enter to WIN a Pyropet Candle!
We are giving away one pink, one grey and one black Kisa, each to a unique winner.
Thorunn Arnadottir is an Icelandic designer based in Reykjavík. She graduated with MA in Design Products at Royal College of Arts in London 2011. Before that she finished BA in Product Design at Iceland Academy of the Arts in Reykjavik in 2007. Thorunn has exhibited in galleries all over the world, such as the V&A in London, the Triennale Design Museum in Milan and Shanghai Power Station of Art.
In 2013 she was selected as one of the 50 talents that are shaping the future by Icon Magazine. In 2014 she was nominated for the Icon Awards for “Best Emerging Design Studio”.
Over his career Dan Koval has successfully brought over 30 new products to market. His products range from gifts and home accessories to furniture and housewares. Dan holds an MBA from INSEAD in France and a BBA in marketing from the