We’re in storm-n-outage season now, and I don’t have a single candle in the house. What’s a girl to do?
1. Open a bottle of wine with some friends and whack the cork in half longways. (If you’re alone–freeze the extra wine. Booze and burning stuff is how many a redneck emergency room story begins.)
2. Poke a hole through one half with something sharp and jam something round through it. (See? Booze, fire, and now sharp objects. Maybe freeze ALL the wine until you’re finished with this little project.)
3. Braid some cotton string or cut a strip of of cloth from a cotton garment (An absorbent one. The khaki’s I tried stunk. But any wick will take about 15 min to absorb enough oil to light, so I DUNK em) and poke it through the hole in the cork.
That is my favorite of all the oil lamps I’ve constructed. Mostly because it’s the safest. Any sloshes immediately smother the wick, and being a jar, I can always put a top on it to put it out or for storage.
There are variations, however:
1. For the little round glass one uses a cotton ball shaped like a meringue peak and a shallow bit of oil (cotton balls sink, so about half the height of your meringue. Mine is too deep.) Dip the tip and set the cotton in the puddle. You can dunk it or wait for the oil to creep up.
3. Bottle Lamp: You can fill the whole bottle with oil, but that’s a LOT of oil. So, if you want to kill some space–fill it part way with water. To make the wick stand up, poke a hole in the lid and thread it through. To be safe and have that lovely smothering effect if it tips, DO NOT screw the cap on. If it tips, we want it to spill.
- Any absorbent material will make a wick, but synthetics put out black smoke and God-knows-what-else, so go with natural fibers.
- Any liquid fat will burn, but not all burn as cleanly as olive oil. You can do canola, peanut, corn, what-have-you.
- Any price concerns will by allayed when you see how long these suckers burn. (That little cotton ball one can go for DAYS.)
P.S. Next time….bacon candles!