Forever changing, shifting form, and expanding according to the creative mood of its owner, the relaunched STOFF Nagel candle holder is much more than a functional design item. It is a sculptural piece with which design fans can mould and alter the ambience of a room and the direction of the eyes that capture it.

Originally designed by the German architect and artist Werner Stoff in the 1960s, the STOFF Nagel candle holder quickly became a roaring success in Europe. For decades, however, the iconic candle holder has been out of production and only found in vintage stores. But this changed in 2015, when Danish entrepreneur Bine Malund Lind fell in love with the candle holder’s creative potential and decided to bring it back to life. Notedly, the function of the candle holder had very little to do with her decision.

STOFF Nagel: A shapeshifting candle holder returning from the past

Danish entrepreneur Bine Malund Lind is behind the relaunch of the STOFF Nagel candle holder.

“It was more about it being a sculptural piece that I could put my own signature into – I could shape it just as I liked – and about the architectural quality; It looked so perfect – it has no 90-degrees angles, but is round and curvy everywhere,” explains Lind and continues: “What I liked was that the more I put on, the more pieces I added, the better it looked.”

Relaunched in various materials and price ranges in 2015, the STOFF Nagel candle holder has not just regained its standing among European design fans but is also beginning to make its way around the globe, with a big launch in Japan set to happen next year. It has been accompanied by a number of additional relaunched products, such as the STOFF Nagel bowl and the STOFF Nagel stand as well as new additions such as a floor stand and wall hanger.

STOFF Nagel: A shapeshifting candle holder returning from the past

A historic design

While it was drawn by architect and artist Werner Stoff, the idea for the unique organic shape of the STOFF Nagel candle holder originated from Hans Nagel, the CEO of the Nagel Company, a small family company. Originally created during the hardship of the Second World War, the company came about as the father of Hans Nagel, a blacksmith, sent out his sons to collect the empty American cartridges which he transformed into candle sticks and other decorative objects. Having taken over the family business, Hans Nagel developed the idea for the iconic STOFF Nagel candle holder on a skiing trip in the 60s. “During the trip, an accidental backward tumble forced Nagel to break the fall with his hand, thus creating the finest three finger-holes in the snow. The perfect holes brought a candle holder to mind, a beautiful, sculptured, and simple candle holder with room for three slim sticks,” explains Lind. Having met Stoff in the design community of Cologne, Nagel presented him with the idea, and asked him if he could draw the design for him. This became the beginning of a design success that was perceived as signalling a movement away from the past.

Making your living room Instagrammable every day

Produced in the original small pieces for three candles, the STOFF Nagel candle holders can be adjoined and sculpted into a never-ending number of unique sculptures, with or without candles. The design thus offers endless opportunities for design fans who like to shake things up for themselves or for followers on social media.

“A lot of people like to show off their homes on Instagram, but when taking three photos of a living room, it will look the same. They cannot change the sofa, but what they can change are the accessories. In that way, we have the perfect product because with it they can make a different setting again and again. You can create a tall tower, a long floating line along the table, make it big, make it small. Nobody wants to be mainstream, we all want to give a personal touch to our home,” stresses Lind, and goes on to explain that many people relate to it as LEGO for adults; something they can be creative with and put their own signature into.

Moreover, products such as the newly launched hand-polished bronzed brass piece, wrapped in a neat organic cotton bag and sleek gift box, offer the giver the opportunity to give the perfect gift for years to come. “When you unwrap it, you feel like unwrapping a piece of jewellery, it’s so elegant and as it patinates in your own home, the look will depend on a variety of things, where you place it, how much you touch it, and so on,” says Lind and concludes: “What’s more, what really makes it the perfect gift, is that you can buy the same thing to the same person again and again; you will find it on the wish list every year because for a collector, it doesn’t matter if they get five new pieces the same year – they will always want more.”

STOFF Nagel: A shapeshifting candle holder returning from the past

Having relaunched the candle holder in 2015, STOFF Nagel has just launched some new additions, a floor stand and wall hanger, allowing for even more creativity

Facebook: STOFF Nagel
Instagram: @stoffnagel

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