About the project

In response to a packaging design brief for candles in which we were to come up with a brand name, a provenance story, create or source a candle and vessel, and then design and create the physical packaging for the item.

The candle itself is sourced, however everything else, including the vessel, was hand crafted by me.

Behind the name - Xerdawnfi

Wilhelm and Martha Fritz migrated from Germany to Australia in 1947 in search of a better life for their two sons Louis and Xavier. With only 1 Deutch Mark–equivalent to 50 Australian cents – in their pockets, the family began their new life at Bonegilla immigrant camp.
Louis–the eldest son – fell sick with a stomach infection and was quarantined from his family for over a month before he died in June, 1947. With his brothers passing, Xavier’s mental health declined and he lost his desire to smile.

In 1948, Wilhelm and Martha had learned enough English deeming them fit to work and contribute to the developing Australian economy. He became a carpenter while she learnt the art of candle making. Xavier was enrolled into the basic school system and struggled to fit in and make friends with his negative and depressive attitude.

Every night since the day she started work, Martha would come back to camp–exhausted and nails full of beeswax–bearing a candle for Xavier. She would tell him that each candle she brought home was made with magic and whenever the candle was lit, Louis would see the flame–like a star–from Heaven, and come down to visit them. And every night Xavier would light each and every one of his candles… and smile.

By 1951 the Fritz family had saved enough money to rent a house and send Xavier to school. He graduated high school in 1959 and went on to learn the art of candle making from his mother. From this collaboration they would start a home business together called ‘Xerdawnfi’–an anagram of ‘wax friends’–selling their candles at local markets hoping to share their magic.

His mother’s magic candles had saved Xavier’s life. They had become much more than a burning wick suspended in wax, they were his brother, Louis, and his friend. Xerdawnfi candles share this comfort and optimism with the world in hope that they may bring warmth and happiness to one’s life.



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Danielle Fritz


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