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Can 3-wick candles be purchased?


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#1 Matt Irwin

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 11:51 PM

Can 3-wick candles be purchased or are they a make to order item?

I have a shoot coming very soon with a candle- and fire-lit scene and I need a good number of 3-wick candles. I was going to have the art dept. add wicks to 2" wide pillar-type candles, but if there is a place to purchase different shapes and colors, that would be ideal.

I searched the forum and didn't find any posts this specifically. Google hasn't helped much either...

(I'm in the Los Angeles area)
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#2 Alain J Francois

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 07:57 PM

Can 3-wick candles be purchased or are they a make to order item?

I have a shoot coming very soon with a candle- and fire-lit scene and I need a good number of 3-wick candles. I was going to have the art dept. add wicks to 2" wide pillar-type candles, but if there is a place to purchase different shapes and colors, that would be ideal.

I searched the forum and didn't find any posts this specifically. Google hasn't helped much either...

(I'm in the Los Angeles area)


Hello Matt, I assume you mean a 'triple wick' candle rather than a 3 wick candle. 3 wick candles are easily found in a lot of hardware stores. I had the same issue recently shooting a short film (on S16 on Kodak 200T), where the main character had to carry a candle. Can't help you with LA as I'm located in Australia. But... you should be able to locate a local candle maker. If not you can actually make your own. You should be able to purchase a triple wick or buy a cheap outdoor candle (they usually have much thicker wicks) and you could strip the wax off and use the wick in your own. I enclose a still from the film to show you what we achieved.
Cheers, Alain.

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#3 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 10:15 AM

Hello Matt, I assume you mean a 'triple wick' candle rather than a 3 wick candle. 3 wick candles are easily found in a lot of hardware stores. I had the same issue recently shooting a short film (on S16 on Kodak 200T), where the main character had to carry a candle. Can't help you with LA as I'm located in Australia. But... you should be able to locate a local candle maker. If not you can actually make your own. You should be able to purchase a triple wick or buy a cheap outdoor candle (they usually have much thicker wicks) and you could strip the wax off and use the wick in your own. I enclose a still from the film to show you what we achieved.
Cheers, Alain.


What's the difference between triple and three wick? I'm guessing that triple is three times thicker
than the same candle with one wick but still looks like one wick whereas 3 wick looks like a candle
with 3 flames?

If you strip the wax off another candle to use the thicker wick from that, do you then do surgery on
the hero candle and put the additional wick(s) in there and then somehow rebuild the wax around that?
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#4 Matt Irwin

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 02:25 PM

Thank you both.
We shot the scene a few days ago, and it went extremely well. Some of the best work I've done, at least in my mind.
We did manage to track down a source for 3-wick/triple-wick (same thing to me) candles, but they were a custom order and out of budget... so the art dept. performed surgery on a bunch of candles with the help of a blow torch and a wire coat hanger. They were just as good but if we needed tall/thin candlesticks, they would have to have been custom ordered.

Here's a still that was taken by my key grip to give you an idea of the look we came up with:
l_eeb8698828f5e6756bc412a11fd0dd5c.jpg

-Two 3-wicks with a dimmed 40w torpedo bulb hidden behind to help the throw as needed. We shot super16, Eterna 400, with superspeeds at 1.3.
(there's also a fireplace and some of our own fireboxes down and left of the actor.

By the way, those 3-wicks can really stand their own as a source. The flames are so large that they really have a decent throw and output. I could expect about 3 fc on an actors face at a 3-4' distance with two candles.
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