Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance combines bronze and beeswax for expressive candles

Made in Portugal under the French designer’s Made in Situ label, 'Bronze and Beeswax' is a series of candles and candleholders whose aesthetic is both organic and minimalist

Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance candles with bronze candleholders
(Image credit: Clement-Chevelt)

French designer Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance has launched a new collection of candles and bronze candleholders under his label Made in Situ. Produced in Portugal in collaboration with expert craftsmen, the luxury candles collection is 'the result of my adventures, explorations of geological and biological textures, patterns, materials and their related techniques', says the designer. 

Bronze and Beeswax: Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance candles from Made in Situ

Noe Duchafour Lawrance candles with bronze candleholders

(Image credit: Clement-Chevelt)

The new collection of candles and candleholders was first conceived in 2019, when the Made in Situ team was exploring Portuguese craft. During one trip, Duchaufour-Lawrance visited a small backyard in a village near Porto, where a family (a father and his three sons) was working around a furnace. 'It was a powerful scene, I felt transported to a different time,' he recalls. 'I had wanted to work with bronze for a while, but it was in that moment that the idea came to me.'

Observing the material melting in the furnace, the designer was instantly inspired to create a series of candleholders featuring simple modular forms with a black, rough exterior and a polished, smooth interior. The candleholders are combined with essential beeswax candles, the contrast between the organic and the man-made enhanced by the materials and textures. 

Noe Duchafour Lawrance candleholders being made in the foundry

Work in progress of the candleholders at Fundibronze

(Image credit: Clement Chevelt)

Creating the collection was a journey in itself for Duchaufour-Lawrance and his team. After the original foundry closed down mid-project, they found another workshop in Peniche, a fishing village near Lisbon, Fundibronze, specialising in manufacturing propellers for the fishing industry. Owner João Amaro trained as a sculptor before joining the family business, and he became the ideal collaborator for the collection.

‘I wanted the design to speak of the melting, of the changing of state,’ says Duchafour-Lawrance. ‘This has been the seed of the design since the beginning of the project: the opposition of fluidity and rigidity, and going from solid to liquid, and vice versa.' The process involved handmade sand moulds for each of the pieces, and the team took advantage of Fundibronze's technical expertise to finesse the design.

Noe Duchafour Lawrance candles

Velas Giesta

(Image credit: Clement Chevelt)

The candles were as important as their vessels, the bronze forms directly inspired by beehives: 'I kept thinking of beehives and what they are at their most essential – colonies of bees – and I was driven by the idea of micro architectures, with the light breathing life and movement through the units.'

The inspiration came as a result of Duchafour-Lawrance's extensive research into candle-making and wax. In Fátima, he found Giesta Velas, a workshop producing candles for ex-votos (a votive offering), largely feeding the nearby pilgrimage site. One hurdle in the candle-making process was sourcing beeswax (factors such as fires, pollution and pesticides limit its supply, meaning most candles are made of paraffin). 

Foundry interior with propeller models


(Image credit: Clement Chevelt)

The final piece of the project's puzzle was found further east, in Nisa, where beekeper João Neto had been working with bees since he was 12. 'This is what we love the most about the work we do,' says Duchafour-Lawrance. 'We never know where the next stop is, or where it will lead us.’

For the Made in Situ team, the experience of creating this collection also meant discovering the difficult reality of craftsmanship, from the challenge of obtaining materials to disappearing skills and closing workshops. 'But what I want with this collection, and with Made In Situ in general, is to seek the beauty around us, while unveiling the realities I come across. I want to create from what I see; I want our work to be grounded in our environment, in the world we live in,' concludes Duchafour-Lawrance.

Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.