Our Constellation Votive

Our constellation votive is pretty special to us and takes a lot of people to perfect it. From initial concept to the fully-fledged product, here is the story behind our signature votive. From our family, to yours.

The idea of our constellation votive began over a year ago in the Truly HQ. We would often spend hours quizzing each other (working at the same time, of course) on what star sign we were and what it meant; so, it was only a matter of time before we incorporated our love of astrology into a product. When we thought of a votive with our classic constellation print for Christmas, you could only imagine our excitement! Our goal was to create something that really embodied Christmas and while it was originally designed as part of our ceramic serveware collection, we knew it was special enough to be its own product. When our designer first got to work, she knew it would work best being multi-use. So along with a gorgeous tealight holder, our votive can be used as a pencil pot, a makeup brush vessel, the list is endless! Our brief was simple; big enough either side to get the tealight out easily (there’s nothing worse than getting your hand stuck) and enough room to fit a standard candle. With the correct dimensions set, all that was left was the design and having already created our constellation throw, it was just a case of adding the print to the votive. And so, in comes Emma, our local ceramicist and best friend to our graphic designer. We told you we like to keep it in the family.

When it comes to creating the product there are a number of ways it can be bought to life, but Emma’s go to for our votive was the potter’s wheel; “with a product like the votive, you have to work backwards” she explains “there’s a huge amount of maths involved to work out how much the product will shrink, I then have to increase the product at the right proportion so when it is dry, it won’t change too much from the original dimensions.” When it comes to the actual constellation design, it’s a much simpler process Emma tells me; “I just printed off what would be the constellation wrap of the design on inkjet paper and wrapped it around the votive and used a soft biro nib to do the outlines for the lines and made various star-shaped sprigs.” Once Emma has perfected the shape and design of the votive, it will be sent away to be made as a mould then on to the factory to be completed as the final product.

Stoke-on-Trent is known as the heart of ceramics, so of course the final stage of our constellation votive had to take place here; which is where we meet one of our suppliers, Brian. The process of the votive is made in the traditional way of slipcasting which involves pouring the plaster into a mould. Once the votive mould is achieved, a rubber cast is made and filled with liquid clay and it begins to take shape. After the excess plaster has been poured out, the cast is left to dry and then placed in the kiln. Voila! The constellation votive is finished.

Many people go into creating a single product, but we believe this is what makes our collection Truly special.