The use of oil lamps (lucerne) began thousands of years ago and is continued to this day. The traditional ancient style oil lamp is an object used to produce light continuously for a period of time using an oil-based fuel source. They were used for centuries as a main light source for practical reasons as well as figured prominently in celebrations and religious observances.
Our oil lamps are made to our specifications by a very talented local artist in an ancient style using a single spout design with a flat base and wide pour hole. They are crafted from kiln-fired clay and expertly glazed. These oil lamps are made to be used, are easy to clean, and will not seep olive oil as porous terracotta clay lamps might.
Only use good quality Olive Oil as a fuel source in your lamp. You will need to make a wick for your oil lamp and we include instructions and urls for your reference. Make sure that your wick is entirely saturated with oil before attempting to light it (at least 60 minutes). One end of the wick should be positioned so it rises vertically through the small spout with the rest of the wick remaining submerged in the olive oil. As these are ancient designs, you will have to experiment with your wick placement and height (above the lip of the spout) until you get the effect you desire.
Lamps of the Ancient Mediterranean came in many sized and designs and varied by culture - notably the Greek, Roman, and Egyptian Cultures. Before the invention of the wheel in the Middle Bronze Age, lamps were made entirely by hand. These lamps were characterized by simplicity, little or no decoration, and a wide pour hole. They were originally simple bowls with a slight pinch on four sides for the wick. Later lamps had only one pinch. These lamps varied in the shape of the rim, the general shape of the bowl. The bases were simple and flat.
An early form of the potter’s wheel was invented and introduced in the Middle Bronze Age (3200-1200 BC) and was used to manufacture lamps into a more uniformed container allowing them to be crafted in a more consistent manner. The saucer/bowl style lamp evolved into a single spout shape with a more pronounced, deeper single spout.
Fuels used for oil lamps depend on such variables as the culture, time period and the reason for the lamp's use. Religious and spiritual use of lamps for instance may require a particular oil or fragrance to be used or to be added to the main fuel source. The main fuel in Western nations was olive oil in ancient Mediterranean cultures.