the daily lamp

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How To: Traditional Sicilian Olive Oil Lamps

The following are a list of practical tips and a short history of the use of Olive Oil Lamps in the tradition of Stregoneria Siciliana.

**Tips**

-Never have the wick too long, the length of a pencil eraser is perfect

-Make sure that the glass receptacle is thick enough and able to handle the heat of the flame

-Tending the lamp is daily work, make sure you’re ready for the commitment, also, a pair of tongs works great when trying to fish out the cork float

-When choosing an oil to burn Vegetable Oil is the most economical, but brings with it a strong odor and burns dirty, your lamp will be covered in black soot in no time leaving your house smelling like fried chicken.

-Olive Oil burns the cleanest and is scent free (also much more traditional to the Mediterranean). However, choosing the right Olive Oil is essential. Never choose Extra Virgin Olive Oil for a lamp, for it won’t burn properly, instead stick to pure Olive Oil OR for a more economic choice Olive Pomace Oil. Pomace oil is the last of the oil that is left in the skins of the olives after the previous pressings. The skins are then broken down with a solvent in order to extract the oil- it’s still 100% olive oil and you can find a 3L can for much cheaper than other grades of Olive Oil.

-When first placing a new wick into the lamp choose 100% cotton wicks without the zinc core, the zinc will cause more smoke and the cotton is the more traditional choice.

-Dab a new cotton wick with a little oil before lighting it, that way it’ll burn properly instead of burning the wick right out.

On the island of Sicily, Olive Oil Lamps were often the traditional choice of devotional and functional lighting. Candles were expensive and often melted in the heat of the Mediterranean sun thus were typically impractical. However the olive, being so plentiful on the island, provided the perfect source to fuel these lamps whether for prayer or for function. The spiritual potential of these Olive Oil Lamps also greatly overshadowed that of a wax candle. With the fruit of the olive tree carrying with it the spirit of the earth from which it sprouted these lamps, in turn, truly burn with the flame of the Mediterranean lending a much deeper spiritual meaning and power with their use upon an altar. However more is still to be said about these powerful lamps! Because a Maghi’s altar is also a shrine and home to their spiritual guides, it is taught that everything placed on the altar in turn becomes sanctified itself, this is especially true of the Oil Lamp. While burning in front of the sacred effigy of a Saint the oil itself becomes sanctified with the power of that Saint. This oil can then be used to anoint and bless those that come seeking healing, protection, or freedom from malign forces. Many miracles have been reported over the millennia by those after having been anointed with Holy Lamp Oil.

S'abbinirica!

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Design should be intuitive.. With no visible switch, how would you turn this table lamp on?


I’ve always like the idea that altering the location of a product alters its appearance or function. 


A tilt switch inside the lamp sensors when it has been rocked over and the light turns on. The centre of gravity has been calculated so that only a small force is required to rock it over


The light could be used as a reading light or for ambient light by adjusting the orientation of the opening.