Few things spark joy more than something cool moonlighting as something unexpected. So it goes at Nonna’s Grocer – an online store selling handmade candles that look exactly like the fruits they imitate.
At the moment it sells just five candle shapes, aptly filed under “produce” on the site: a custard apple (in custard apple-green and Hubba Bubba purple), mandarins (in orange and purple) and lemons (in the past it’s sold eggs, too).
They’re made in the same way lost-wax cast jewellery is (a copper cast is moulded in the shape of the object), then traditional candle-making techniques follow suit: dyeing, melting, pouring and wicking. They’re finished off by hand with a little hand carving.
“Nonna’s Grocer represents a slower pace of life in the form of an object,” says the creator, Wollongong-based designer Madeleine Hoy. “I wanted to develop fun objects that enhance your mood, can be styled around the house, and are environmentally conscious.”
While lighting these little blobs of joy mightn’t be one’s first instinct (too often cool candles aren’t lit because they’re artworks), Hoy insists they should.
“I want them to be lit. I keep getting told that people are too afraid to light them ... I designed them with intimate dinner parties in mind. There’s nothing better than a table filled with delicious food and wine, glowing candles and lovely humans gathered telling silly stories in flickering light,” she says.
In the future expect a “wobbly looking tomato” (Hoy is dying to make one), possibly some native Australian fruits, and scented candles “for those who want to take things up a notch in the tub.” (I personally want to style my wedding tables with them but my partner has a fruit phobia.)