Warm Up with M.H. Parks’ Halifax Candle Holders
As winter slowly approaches, the days will become increasingly shorter, and nights significantly longer. Fortunately, New Englanders can brave the dark in style, thanks to M.H. Parks Company’s beautifully crafted Halifax candle holders, adding ample warmth and light to the coldest of nights.
The tabletop staples are crafted about an hour west of Boston in Winchendon. They’re made from rich walnut and finished with a clear, low-sheen lacquer to enhance the wood’s natural color and to protect surfaces. The candlesticks also eco-friendly; M.H. Parks created them with excess materials from tables and chairs. The holders stand as deep chocolate accent pieces and have openings on each end—one side holds tapers while the other can cradle tea lights.
The company behind these sleek wooden creations, M.H. Parks, is a business started by Martin Harrison Parks more than 180 years ago.
“Our primary products were spools and bobbins, as well as barrel covers,” says Todd Parks, the company’s current owner. Todd is the seventh generation of his family to operate the company. He followed his father, Skip, who converted the business to make turnings, or the art of fashioning wood into objects. Todd’s son, who is a senior in high school, has followed the family’s footsteps as well, making him the eighth generation in the Parks family to work at the company.
The process of making a single candle holder takes about 15 to 20 minutes.
“We use a hand-operated lathe to turn the shape, then we use a special drill press designed to hold round parts to bore then ends,” says Parks. “We then have to hand-sand each candlestick holder on a manual lathe before finishing.”
As for the designs, M.H. Parks works closely with furniture retailer Room & Board to create items that mesh with M.H. Park’s design ideas and manufacturing processes. In addition to the Halifax holders, M.H. Parks offers bedroom and dining furniture for homes, commercial furniture for schools, restaurants and libraries, as well as recognition chairs for special events, such as a graduations.
“What it comes down to is pride in what we do every single day,” says Parks. “It starts with us and if we love it, it trickles down to everyone we work with.”