When Icelandic designer Thórunn Árnadóttir was studying at London’s Royal College of Art in 2010, she started contemplating candle shapes.
“The shape of a tea light or a candlestick makes sense because its form follows function to provide light. But the purpose of candles in different shapes really puzzled me,” she wrote on her website. “Why make them into elaborate shapes when they are going to be all deformed and creepy when they are in use? I saw potential in there to make something more out of this experience. To make a theatre of macabre in wax.”
So she created a cat-shaped candle called “The Devil’s Pet,” which, as it melted, slowly revealed a creepy metal skeleton hidden within. One extremely successful Kickstarter program later, she and her business partner, Dan Koval, started manufacturing PyroPet Candles in earnest and eventually founded a full-fledged candle company, 54Celsius.
There are now a number of different PyroPets, each with its own Icelandic moniker: Kisa the cat, Bíbí the bird, Hoppa the bunny, Dýri the reindeer, Ugla the owl, Dreki the dragon, Einar the unicorn, and Voffi the dog.
Colors and sizes vary depending on the animal, but most of them are around 7 inches tall and have a burn time of between 20 to 25 hours. The gradual uncovering of the skeleton is delightfully spooky from start to finish; as Árnadóttir put it, “Lighting a PyroPet Candle is like a romantic film that turns into a horror satire.”
Amazon currently has the cat, the dragon, the unicorn, the reindeer, and the bird in stock. They’re all $39 except for the bird, which, at half the size of the others, has an $18 price tag. Pretty good for a light source that doubles as Halloween decor.