If you’re a wine lover, you know how it starts. Everything starts small. A single bottle at a favorite winery you visited. Then the half-case discount. Then the wine clubs. Before you know it, your 24-bottle under-the-counter wine cooler is reserved for “drinking whites” and your collection is stored under the stairs or in the guest room.
For those of you that are graduating to an actual wine cellar—or if, like me, your entire home is an ode to wine—Mark Bloxwich at CandleCage.com has a new “must have” for you. It’s big, beautiful, and romantic, like the wines in your closet.
The 5’10” wrought iron floor-standing candle holders are forged in the shape of wine bottles with custom designed iron work on the cage doors. Customers can choose from a variety of bottle shapes and can order custom iron work featuring their favorite labels, quotes or humorous comments. Each CandleCage holds up to a dozen large candles on a shelf the size of a serving tray, illuminating the custom art and lending an attractive (and safe) candlelight ambiance to any room.
Bloxwich came up with the idea originally as a birthday gift for his wife. “I’m terrible at gifting,” he said. “I once gave her a food processor, but she doesn’t cook.” He knew his wife loved candles and wine—particularly New Zealand sauvignon blanc—and so he set out to make her the most impressive iron candleholder and homage to wine he could. “As you do,” he said, “when you have no known engineering skills and you can’t even weld.”
He sought the help of a local welder in Thailand, where they lived at the time, and created the first CandleCage, which his wife still adores to this day. In fact, it was his wife Janette who suggested he make more. “She keeps trying to run off with the prototypes,” said Bloxwich.
Bloxwich eventually hired a Croatian engineer through an outsourcing site to create some proper drawings, and learned that the man’s entire family are engineers who own a small family-run ironworks and factory. CandleCages are now manufactured by hand in Croatia by the family-run business. Bloxwich travels to Croatia frequently to oversee design and production. Each CandleCage costs around $1,200 US, plus $250 for custom art. Orders may include tax and shipping.
The first CandleCages were released in August 2015 to a mainly E.U. audience. They are now available in the U.S. as well, and a few traveling samples are making the rounds on the East Coast.
CandleCages can take up to twelve weeks to arrive at U.S. destinations as they are too large and heavy for air delivery. But as Bloxwich points out, “These are beautiful heirlooms that will last for many generations, so they’re worth waiting for.”