I find the structure of horns and bone incredibly enticing. It’s captivating how you can see them from many perspectives and appreciate their structure from many scales. If you observe the shape of a bone, it’s incredible to think of the way it was formed both by the outward pressure of growth, but by the direction of tension that came from the muscles that supported and attached to it. As you look closer you can observe the network of pores and veins that moved through it in a sympathetic relationship with its rigid structure, like the ventilation system of a building. On even closer inspection you can see the little microcosms of archetecture; thousands of repeated elements each with minute variations producing a lattice of strong yet light fiber. This whole marvelous mechanism becomes even more remarkable when you imagine how it was produced: by a sea of autonomous cells, each ignorant of the final structure but working harmoniously towards that end.
I bought a pair of Impala horns a few years back at the Bone Room, thinking there might be a use for the beautiful gently curved and reticulated shapes. After a number of experiments with different molding techniques I found that a silicone glove mold reinforced with a fiberglass was an ideal configuration for producing a production line of candles reproduced from the horns. I’ve put up a detailed tutorial on the process on Instructables.
Horn Candles on BoingBoing, Craft, and Flickr.