A menorah is a special, nine-pronged candelabra. Candles are lit every night
for the eight nights of Hanukkah. The ninth candle, which stands taller than the
others, is the shammash or servant candle. It is used to light the other candles.
You light two candles on the first night (servant used to light the second, smaller,
candle), three on the second night and so on). It is customary for the candles to
be placed in the menorah from right to left and lit from left to right. Set the
menorah on a windowsill for all to admire.
1 1/2 pounds self-hardening clay
Sheet of sturdy cardboard
Acrylic paint in assorted colors
On a clean work surface, roll the clay into a long cylinder with an even diameter
of a little over an inch. Measure the cylinder and mark off 10 even lengths (about
1 1/2 inches each). Cut eight of these lengths, and leave the last two uncut (these
will be the taller shammash). Cylinders may flatten when cut; gently reshape them
if necessary. Using a Hanukkah candle, make a hole in one end of each cylinder,
deep enough to hold a lighted candle. Again, reshape gently.
On the cardboard base, line up the cylinders side by side, with the one for the
shammash in the center. Gently press the sides of the cylinders together, using
water to make them stick (some separation may occur when the menorah dries).
To decorate your menorah, roll out a thin coil of clay to twine around the bottom
Alternatively, you can try adding stars or other clay shapes. To help clay decorations
adhere to the menorah, brush both surfaces with water before attaching. Let the
finished menorah dry for two or three days, then paint it in bright colors.