Inspired by a love for geometry, computational designer and maker Greg Blanpied handcrafts incredibly sleek stainless steel candle holders that are much more than meets the eye. Based on naturally occurring geometric shapes and patterns in nature—such as the Flower of Life, Metatron’s cube, and the Fibonacci sequence—these holders allow you to “experience geometric transformation” as the candle’s light sends intricate shadows through the metallic vessels. Through a process called stereographic projection, the candle casts the three-dimensional pattern of its holder down onto its flat supporting surface. And as the candle burns lower and lower, the mesmerizing shapes and patterns morph and change along with it. However, a true stereographic projection is only created when the flame reaches six inches in height.
“I have had a strong interest in geometric forms and light for as long as I can remember,” Blanpied tells My Modern Met. “I initially explored this interest through macro photography, exploring the world of underappreciated small plants and mushrooms, which have some of the wildest natural shapes that you could imagine.
“I have found that certain geometric patterns such as the Flower of Life and the Fibonacci sequence are particularly interesting and visually appealing as they tie back to shapes and patterns that occur naturally throughout the universe, at scales both big and small. Examples of these patterns in nature include the spatial organization of flowers and leaves, as well as the geometric shapes that naturally occur in rock formations and crystals. I believe that design should improve the world we live in by reflecting and building upon forms that occur in the natural environment—the objects and structures that we create and use in our world should bring us closer to our natural roots rather than separate us from the earth and each other.”
Blanpied transforms the nature-inspired two-dimensional patterns into the complex 3D spherical designs for his candle holders using algorithmic modeling and specialized computer software. Once that is finished, next comes the challenging fabrication process. Using an advanced manufacturing process called 5-Axis laser cutting, the designs are brought to life in stainless steel—a choice of material that makes them both durable and sustainable.
To see more of Blanpied's incredible work, follow the artist on Instagram or Facebook. To own one of these gorgeous candle holders for yourself or to show support for the project, visit his Kickstarter page to make a pledge.