In the past we have used fairly modern looking lanterns with tea lights or small votive candles. While these have worked well enough they don’t look right anymore and are slowly being replaced by more period looking lamps.
Originally we were going to replace them with horn lanterns. This posed a couple of problems. Firstly trying to buy them in NZ is proving difficult so we would have to order in from overseas, this has implication with NZ MAF as there is animal product involved. Secondly making our own meant sourcing horn and learning to split it down and flatten it. We have been able to get 1 horn lantern while we were at the re-enactors market in the UK.
While we were at the Abbey event we saw lots of wooden lanterns with cloth covers. We have decided to make some of these up as they are fairly simple, and more importantly within our abilities. We will probably still get some horn ones at some stage as well.
The basic premise for the wooden ones is straightforward. make a frame that consists of a top and bottom piece, join them with round dowel and wrap cloth around them. So that you can access the candle you cut a hole in the top and make a platform that can be raised.
We are making them so they will take a votive candle. For safety, we are also looking at getting electric candles but the design will also be used with normal candles.