While waiting for my first clay oil lamp to dry, I made a second one.
I wasn't happy with it.
The goal is for even very small children to be able to make one, with as little muss and fuss as possible. With that in mind, I took the clay from the second lamp and, using only half of the amount, made an even simpler and smaller version than the first.
That one, I'm very happy with.
Today, I tested them both out.
They work just fine!
The fuel is olive oil, which is what these lamps would have burned as fuel thousands of years ago. For a wick, I used a strand of cotton yarn.
I'm not sure how much oil either of them holds; at most, a quarter cup between the two of them, possibly less.
The lamp on the right (the first one I made) has a much shallower usable reservoir; the opening to hold the wick is rather low, so any more would leak through there. The one on the left has more of an incline for the wick, so more oil can be added.
The shallow lamp burned for about 2 hours before using up the oil. The deeper one lasted perhaps half an hour longer.
When I have the time to spend on the computer, I will post a how-to on my Squidoo pages. I'll post a link to there when that's done.
I think these will work rather well for VBS!