March/April 2001

Lighten Up

By Libby Grimm
Butcher, baker, candlestick maker? While the islands cover them all, it is the latter that is especially well represented. Just as the popularity of decorative candles continues to grow, so does the array of alluring and unusual ways to display them. Shown here is a small selection of the many different kinds of candleholders available at island shops and galleries.

Lemon Appeal
Upstate New York-based Ganz is known for its colorful, tropical-inspired Bella Casa line of ceramic wares, carried locally by The Confused Chameleon. Brighten your table with these blue, green, and yellow lemon-motif candlesticks. Also offered are matching candles, or plates, platters, canisters, mugs, and, of course, lemonade pitchers! 11528 Andy Rosse Lane, Captiva, 941/472-0560.

Bryce McNamara, owner of the Tin Can Alley Gallery, uses an oxy-acetylene torch to fashion fascinating votive candleholders and lanterns out of cans that once held coffee, juice, or soup. The torch melts the metal so edges are rough but not sharp. His enamel spray paint palette contains hot pink, orange, chartreuse, teal, sky blue, brown, and black, to name a few. Multicolored pieces have an airbrushed look. McNamara notes that customers will always have plenty to choose from “since there sure is a great supply of cans.” 2480 Library Way, Sanibel, 941/472-2902.

Something Fishy
Island Style Gallery is a showcase for the artistic talents of Sanibel police officer Jane Cechman, who lives in Ft. Myers. Her eye-catching carved wooden candlesticks come in varying heights. Check out a pair painted in glossy purple, aqua, and pink, with yellow fish bobbing on wire. Or perhaps the ones in royal blue, red, yellow, black, and white, featuring fish and bubble designs, will strike your fancy. Unit #210, Chadwick’s Square, Captiva, 941/472-4343; Unit #16, Periwinkle Place, 2075 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, 941/472-6657; or 620 Duval Street, Key West, 305/292-7800.

Clever Candelabra
Luna Bella of Florida, a design company owned by Teresa Costa and Nicolas Trujillo, creates exquisite antique-looking candleholders out of shiny metals, dazzling glass, jewels, beads, and baubles. Each is different and sports such names as Rockette, Harlequin, or Thelma and Louise. They can be found at Jungle Drums Gallery. In addition, the gallery has unusual candelabra made by a group of California artists called Fabulous Finds. Whimsical painted fish, carved from coconut shells, pose on a metal sea star base. Dark green metal leaves look like a piece of sculpture but do double duty by holding candles. 11532 Andy Rosse Lane, Captiva, 941/395-2266.

Illuminating Imports
Candle lovers will find a bonanza of candlesticks at Traders Store & Café on Sanibel, and at its new sister store in Bonita Springs. These silver-colored metal cupid and angel
candleholders are made in Mexico and look good any time of year. Also from Mexico is a bronze-colored double candelabrum decorated with grapes and intertwining grapevines. And it’s easy to be fooled by gray and brown “candlesticks” that look like carved wood but are actually made entirely of wax! 1551 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, 941/395-3151 or 26501 South Tamiami Trail, Bonita Springs, 941/949-0756.