Sunken candleholders by Adriana Castillo Cota

Mexican designer Adriana Castillo Cota draws on ship wreckages for a collection of striking candleholders.

Adriana Castillo Cota takes inspiration from life under water for her “Sunken” collection of candleholders.

For her series of polished copper and brass candleholders, the Mexican industrial designer looked to sunken ships and the power of the ocean to transform a mundane object into something full of life.

After observing the corals and organisms found on a wreckage in Isla de Guadalupe in Mexico, Cota sketched the intricate patterns in a notebook before engraving them onto each of her candleholders.

By using an ancient goldsmith’s etching technique I was able to create objects otherwise hard to achieve with traditional industrial processes, says Cota.

She coated the metal with acid-resistant varnish before scratching the patterns through the varnished coating. The cylinders were then immersed in acid exposing the areas that had been etched into. 

The final product is a series of candleholders that are joined together to symbolise coral growth. Each reveals a strong handmade quality that is often lost in industrial processes. 

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