Making a functioning oil lamp is a fun project that you can make as fanciful or as plain as you want. Even a simple bowl can become an oil lamp with the addition of a wick, wick holder, and oil.
For this project I recommend using a stoneware clay body that contains some grog. (Grog will increase its shock resistant.) At a minimum, the interior of the lamp should be glazed in order to keep the clay body from absorbing oil when in use. Be sure to use glazes that fit with your clay body.
You will also need
- a wick --- you can either buy wicks, wick cord, or use a 100% cotton shoe string
- a metal screw-top lid --- look for these on wine bottles, glass bottles of cider, small jelly jars, and so on. Do not use plastic lids; they will melt.
- a hammer
- a nail slightly smaller in diameter than your wick.
- a pair of pliers of tweezers --- needle-nose pliers work best for me
- olive oil --- olive oil burns without smoke or smell. Other vegetable oils may smoke or may not burn at all (i.e. corn oil). Do not use lamp oil. Lamp oil is more volatile and is unsafe for these types of lamps!