Archive for the ‘Story’ Category

I was surprised to discover that the brave adventurer and Dragon Lover who invented the Kymera Magic Wand can now be found tweeting (@Dragonolia) his bits of wisdom.

His profile says:

The source of wisdom for Sir Richard Barons, explorer, adventurer and and philanthropist of the New Magical Age. Life is Your Adventure!

His letter to the future owners of Kymera Wand’s shows some of his incredible skills and abilities.

On this picture you can see him standing in front of his shop somewhere in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.

Sir Richard Barons and his shop of magical and dragonry utensils

Sir Richard Barons and his shop of magical and dragonry utensils

It turned out that Sir Richard Barons recently published a lovely book for craftsmen of all ages that wand to engage in dragon related crafts.

The book is called:

Your Chance to Win a “Dragonolia” Book
signed by Sir Richard Barons himself

Please comment on this post which dragon character you like most.
Be it from a story, movie or other fiction. Or a dragon you’ve seen yourself.

You might also tweet it, please make sure to add @kymerawand and the link

This book is, first of all, a rather beautiful book to behold. The red cloth hardback cover with the curled-up golden dragon on the front immediately make you want to pick it up and look inside! It’s also a rather unusual book, being a mix of both fiction and non-fiction, so when you begin it you’re initially not quite sure what you’re looking at.

As you read on you discover that there’s a story running throughout by Sir Richard Barons, a famous dragon hunter, and with each story he tells there is also a craft project of something related to make!

Story about the Filigree Egg Case

Story about the Filigree Egg Case

There are fourteen projects in all ranging from simple items that you can print out from the related website through to more complicated tasks to make a dragon bottle stopper or a wizard’s wand. Because of the complexity of some of the projects the book is probably best for children aged at least eight, though if you’ve a very keen little crafter then they could give the projects a go, whilst being heavily supervised by an adult! If your house is already equipped with glue guns and saved-up cardboard boxes then this is probably your ideal book, and there’s lots of fun to be had making the various different items.

I liked the unusual style of this book, with the stories inserted right within the project instructions. It means that you can still get enjoyment from reading the book, even if you’re not ready to sit down and make an item yet. It also makes the items you make more interesting since they’re related to the story you’ve just read, giving everything a magical feel.

I liked the range of projects apart from the fact that there are three items all relating to dragon eggs although I suppose it’s tricky to come up with so many craft ideas all linked to the dragon theme. There are some that would take quite some time and effort to make, but then there are also easier items that would be quicker to make if you had less time.

The book works equally well for boys or girls, and would be a nice weekend sort of book, or one for those long school holidays when you’ve run out of things to occupy the children with! It’s such a beautifully presented book too that it would also make a nice gift for any crafty kids you know.
–Ruth Ng,, November 2011

A very Antique Map

A very Antique Map

A collection of Fantastical Stories and Fabulous Dragonry Projects that follow the incredible adventures of Sir Richard Barons, the now famous 19th Century philanthropist, who delighted Victorian Society. His motto, Life is Your Adventure is as true now as it ever was. So why not join us on a wonderful journey through this unique collection of entertaining stories and truly original and absorbing dragon-related craft projects.

A real Dragon Egg

A real Dragon Egg

Dragonolia makes the perfect gift, bound in a rich traditional red cloth-covered hardback cover with gilt edged pages and an authentic looking Victorian style layout, each of the 14 chapters has a short story which brings to life a craft project intertwined with it.

Suitable for children from about 8 to adult, with projects to suit any ability from children working alone to projects that will be fun to do together.

Jannes de Goochelaar, a Dutch Wizard ordered two Kymera Wands and lots of candles from us to illuminate his magical end-of-year-show.

Illuminated Kandela Candle on top of the Manual Parchment

Illuminated Kandela Candle on top of the Manual Parchment

He sent us a video showing the Illumination spells in action, quite impressive almost Hogwart-like. The show is run in the Monastery of Archeon and will be repeated this year.

You can find more about Jannes by conjuring up his magical place.

Jannes as Trucasius


Visiting the WandMakers

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As I spent some days in the UK last week for the Software Craftsmanship 2010 conference, I took the opportunity to visit the Wand Makers Chris Barnardo and Richard Blakesley in Bishops Stortford, Chris’ hometown.

The Original Kymera Wand Frame with parchment, wand, crest and tibetan coins.

The Original Kymera Wand Frame with parchment, wand, crest and tibetan coins.

They picked me up from the station and we went directly to Chris’ home talking all the way about wands, kids and much more. On entering the appartment it struck me that this was really an inventors home. Lots of magic wands everywhere, magic candles and self made items of any kind.

While sipping on a coffee we continued to chat about inventing and business. I was also shown the Leopard Gecko who had recently suffered from an attack of his food (locusts). While wandering through the living room I found so many items that Chris created either for his kids, his dadcando site or for himself. That was truly amazing. I really like how he decorated his home with those Wand Company items and took some photographs.

The Counter used at the Birmingham Fair complete with secret compartments

The Counter used at the Birmingham Fair complete with secret compartments

We left for lunch at PizzaExpress which was really delicious. Then they took me back to the rail station to get in time to the airport to catch my plane home. Thanks a lot for this great time. Looking forward to visit you again.

The Wand Shelf with silver dragon wand stand and Kymera and Kandela Wands

The Wand Shelf with silver dragon wand stand and Kymera and Kandela Wands

At home several packages of Kandela Magic Candles waited for me to be smiled at and for you to order from us.

The book of Secrets, who knows what secrets a wand maker keeps?

The book of Secrets, who knows what secrets a wand maker keeps?


Making Of The Kandela Imagery

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Wandmaker Chris Barnardo shared the secret of how he skillfully created the new Kandela page for the website.

The idea of the new page was to show the candle resting on the original web page as if the original webpage
was real.

Kandela on top of Manual Parchment

Kandela on top of Manual Parchment

The manual text had to be rewritten to fit with the Kandela and then written in such a way that even when partially obscured by the wand and candle it still made sense.

In order to get the most realistic looking 3D effect, I printed out the side elements and photographed them at an angle under a piece of old parchment paper.

I also got some real 1890s Tibetan coins from India off ebay and photographed them, because the originals were
just illustrated and I thought that they would not look real enough for this image.

I used all the elements to make up a real tableaux for the Autumn Fair show as wall decoration, and perhaps the sort of thing that you might find in a gentleman’s study or the drawing room of a Victorian room.

Richard and I scoured an old antiques warehouse and bought an old frame. I stained and polished the frame with French polish and then had a plaque made, built a shadow box to go behind it and build up the real webpage tableaux inside.

The effect is great and the shadow box is now hanging in my lounge.

Kymera Tableaux in Frame

Kymera Tableaux in Frame


Today, on Sept 15th, the wand makers, Chris Barnardo and Richard Blakesley, wizards of The Wand Company, funding dragon Duncan Bannatyne of Dragon’s Den fame and the Firebox crew, present the new magical device.

The Kandela

The Kandela is a great, magical package of a Magic Wand and a vanilla colored candle. The wand has an antique bone finish and is set with a blue jewel.

Actually it is a infrared remote control wand, a simpler, non-programmable version of the Kymera Wand and an infrared controlled, blow-out LED candle.

You can use the wand to lighten and extinguish the candle. It can also control how long the candle burns. But like any real candle it will cease to glow when you blow at it.

Duncan Bannatyne and the Wand Makers present the Kandela

Duncan Bannatyne and the Wand Makers present the Kandela

Win a Kandela

When you’re active on twitter, your chances to win a Kandela from us are high. Drawings are held every month.

Product Video

As I didn’t get a sample in time for recording a product video I just to my stock Kymera Wand and used a set of IR candles to demonstrate the "Lumos" and "Nox" spells. Please keep in mind – this is a different set of candles that works a bit differently, so it is just a substitute for a real Kandela.

We’ll offer the Kandela as soon as it is available for resale, for about EUR 39,50. If you want to preorder a Kandela just comment on this post and well figure it out. Firebox also offers it for pre-order right now.

The Kandela Candle and Wand

The Kandela Candle and Wand

Kandela User Manual

Kandela User Manual Illustrations

Kandela User Manual Illustrations


Magical Wand & Enchanted Candle

Light the candle with a flourish of your wand, blow it out just like a real candle.

The Wand Company Ltd
Makers of the World’s finest Magical Instruments since AD 2009


Install batteries (not included) in the wand and candle before use. Use only alkaline LR03 (AAA) batteries, and do not mix old and new batteries.


The wand does not have a power button; once you have installed batteries in the wand, it is automatically ready to use.

After installing the batteries turn the candle on at the power button located on the candle base; the candle will illuminate. Blow the candle out to put it into standby mode.

Use a short sharp flick of the wand to illuminate the candle from up to 4m away.

The Kandela candle flickers just like a real candle.

To extinguish the candle either:
a) blow it out
b) wiggle the wand while pointing it at the candle within 4m of the candle
c) a 60 minute sleep timer mode may be activated by tapping the wand twice on the crisscross area whilst pointing it at the candle when the candle is illuminated. When sleep timer mode is activated the candle will automatically extinguish after 60 minutes.

To extend battery life, always turn the candle off at the power button when not in use.


  • Wand needs 2x AAA (LR03) alkaline batteries
  • Candle needs 2x AAA (LR03) alkaline batteries
  • Batteries are not included
  • The wand is about 35.5cm long
  • The candle has a diameter of 11 cm and a height of 6.5cm
Kandela Manual Front
Kandela Manual Back

As the Kymera Magic Wand and a new product were shown at the Birmingham Autumn Fair, I asked the Wand-Maker Chris Barnardo to send me a report of his experiences there.
I was overwhelmed by the amount of information I got back. Big Thanks to Chris for taking the time to write it down.

Report from the Birmingham Autum Fair

Awareness and Dragons Den Effect

Both products performed flawlessly extracting squeals of delight from anyone
that stopped by the stand to have a go. Passing interest was limited as the
stand was crowded out by people who had targeted us to come and see the wand
for the express purpose of stocking it. I guess it was a huge benefit that
Dragons’ Den had been aired only a couple of weeks before. This is one of
the luckiest things to happen to us. If it had been aired after the show,
awareness of the wand would not have been as high. If it had been aired the
week of the show we would not have been able to cope with both. In business
you always need a bit of luck.

Sir Barons Study

Sir Barons Study

Magical Applicances

On the TV on our stand we had a dvd playing a loop from a promotional video
of surfing huge waves in Hawaii (I think, although Richard will know
exactly), that incredible footage was a draw and the TV was very useful to
demonstrate the functions of the wand. We also had what looked like a real
fire. It was a Dimplex Optimist and uses atomised water to look like smoke
and when lit by hidden light, like flames. Quite convincing it is too and if
we had been agents for the fire I’m sure we could have sold a load of those
too. The fire had the benefit of being remote control so the Kymera had no
trouble learning the codes and with a simple pull back gesture we were able
to put out the fire. The powerhouse of any demonstration was the iPod dock.
The iconic iPod has an interface made for the wand. The wands 13 functions
map well to the iPod interface and allow a great deal of control. We played
magical type music from the playlist that we had used in the Dragons’ Den.

Great Support by Dawn

Richard and I were joined by my partner Dawn on the stand for the whole
show. Dawn works in the Wand Company on the financial side making sure that
the accounts are kept up to date and as a result of the show is also working
with some new customers. Dawn was a great asset on the stand, capable and
confident there was no way Richard and I could have handled the wave after
wave of interested prospects on our own. The show is not one for the general
public, it is a trade show, so each person that comes to the stand is a
potential customer and needs individual demonstration and a discussion about
their particular needs.

Dimishing Stocks

After the first day it was clear that we were going to sell out of the stock
we had in the UK. Signing up numerous resellers who wanted stock immediately
gave us the pleasure and problem of working out how we were going to supply
them. Luckily we had been holding a large number o units for a French
customer of ours and a quick phone call assured us that he wouldn’t mind if
we dipped into his stock, in the knowledge that more stack was arriving next
week (before he needed it). By the end of the second day we were getting
dangerously close to selling out of that too.

Birmingham Autumn Fair Hall 5

Birmingham Autumn Fair Hall 5

After Fair

Long days on the the tiny stand were tiring but huge fun. We didn’t stay at
the NEC but at Birmingham’s trendy Mailbox. So at the end of each day we
drove back there and had a nice meal and then staying up until 2.30am
writing invoices to make sure that our customers got the best service. We
had thought that we might go out and explore Birmingham, but we had so many
emails to catch up on and so many invoices to write that there was not time
for that.

Trade Shows

Autumn Fair was a test for us, it was our first trade show and we wanted to
see if it was going to be worth doing Spring Fair 2011, which is much
bigger. We had a great time, we did a sizable amount of business, we signed
up a good number of new customers and made some heavyweight contacts that
will result in big sales later, so all in all a great success and even
discounting the result slightly for the exceptional effect of Dragons’ Den
(which of course no other subsequent show will have directly) we have to do
more of this sort of thing and Spring Fair looks like a definite date in the

Preparing the booth

Preparing the booth

Notes about the stand itself

Given its small size (perhaps the smallest at Autumn Fair, 1m x 3m) we
managed to pack a lot into it. The design itself was carfeully though
through and I build a special faux old bookcase with a hollow cupboard (and
locakable door) behind and there was the fire place, which itself is very
big. So to make sure that it would all fit and to help with the design, I
built a one tenth scale model. It was very useful in deciding what extra
accessories to get. I attach a picture of the stand model.

Stand Model 1 in 10 Scale

Stand Model 1 in 10 Scale

Richard has tweeted pictures of the empty space and the stand build and the final stand
on @thewandcompany.

Chris Barnardo

The Kymera Wand is featured prominently as gift-bag item of this years TED Global 2010, which started today in Oxford, UK.

TED special package

The WandMakers Chris and Richard were happy to provide 800 Kymera Wands as gift to the TEDsters. Here is their warm, welcoming note:

Technology Entertainment Design

TED started out in 1984 to bring people together from these three worlds. Today, these fields have been combined in many fantastic ways, so we were honored when the nice folks at TED invited us to participate in this gift bag. We’ve taken a little of todays technology, applied creative design, and developed a product which has already entertained customers in more than 50 countries around the world.

It’s been a great start for our fledgling company, and we’re really excited about the future possibilities with help from people like you. That’s why we’re delighted to present you with your very own Kymera Magic Wand, and would love to hear your comments, thoughts and ideas – so please drop me a note at chris.barnardo(at), or visit our website here:

Chris Barnardo, CEO

They created a great looking package specially designed for TED. The same kind of packaging is available for corporate customers that want to give away the Kymera Wand as a gift – to customers, partners or employees.

There are already the first tweets about it:

Best gift bag item of #TED: a Kymera Magic Wand-”not a toy, a finely tuned instrument of control”

Kymera Wand @TEDGlobal2010

Kymera Wand @TEDGlobal2010 by @PaulRieckhoff

@whiteafrican: #TED Fellows can practice their quiddich with their new wand in the Harry Potter dining room. #Oxford

Harry Potter dining room by @whiteafrican

Harry Potter dining room by @whiteafrican

@freeworldmedia: Opening up the famous TED Gift bag. The highlight is the magic wand that controls anything from the TV remote to…

@paulrieckhoff: @thewandcompany Thanks for the cool gift. After some drinks, there will be TEDsters running all over Oxford screaming “Abracadabra”! #TED

@gregorymiller All but the floating candles & white owls at #TED.×3xl

TED Magic Lunch by @gregorymiller

TED Magic Lunch by @gregorymiller

@giorgiotedx TEDxDubaiLive – TED Magic Wand ,inside delegates bags. Will need to try it on a couple of folks back in #DXB

@rodrigocvc: Refeições a la Hogwarts no TED Global. (expand) #ted [afichacaiu]

Hogwarts at TEDGlobal

Hogwarts at TEDGlobal

Gift bag contents

Gift bag contents

Look out for TED content anyway. These are the worlds best presentations on various topics online, collected for more than 25 years and available for free (Creative Commons).

Wishing all TEDsters much fun at the event.


100th blog post: Time To Celebrate

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So, this is the 100th post on I want to take some time to celebrate and review the things that happened since I became a fan of the Kymera Wand.

First I want to thank Chris and Richard for their ingenious invention that has sparked magic not only in my life. To come up with such an awesome product is really a work of a genius. Thanks for being so creative, welcoming, helpful and generous all the time. I really enjoyed collaborating with you guys and am very glad to have two such friends on the British Islands. Please keep up the great work and surprise us now and then.

Yes, it has been 9 months since the Kymera Wand was presented to the public. In September 2009, I contacted Chris and Richard about issues with their site for the first time.
Read the rest of this entry »

While looking at the signature of Sir Richard Barons’ letter, I felt something not quite right. The signature didn’t look like the name at all.

But it looked like the name, the wand maker Chris Barnardo used for several years to present his creative projects on instructables.

Thats Kaptin Scarlett for you. And here is how he got his name (from the beautifully made description of the making of theGolden Filigree Dragon’s Eggcase:

After our extensive journey, our supplies were running low and in order to finish the presentation case we used to store and later show the egg, the luscious scarlet velvet lining of my favourite all-weather coat had to be cut up for to make the pillow covering. I made such a fuss over this calamity that the rest of the party nicknamed me Kaptin Scarlet, and name that has endured to this day.

velvet scarlett eggcase box

velvet scarlett eggcase box

Of the many projects he presented there, the mentioned one as well as those may be of interest to the dear reader:

Even more projects of the Wand Makers inspiration can be found on the amazing DadCanDo site that is dedicated to parents caring for the fun and joy in the lives of their children.

Especially the Wizadry and Magic and the Dragonry categories offer a lot to the lovers of these fantastic things. But it is worth to explore the whole site for lots of ideas and inspiration.

Carl and Pete had wand waving fun in their show #46, controlling the TV in the recording room.

The transcript with some pictures is available as is the podcast itself.


I always thought you were a geek – what with the glasses and the bow tie, you all right, Harry? Have you ever seen that picture of Pete on the website – he does look like Harry Potter! You’re such a geek! But this is great, I like the toy.


Can you get this to control your wife? – when you thrust it forward, and you get her to go “ouch!” I don’t know, I’m sure someone out there has got a wife that needs controlling.


I think this is phenomenal, but I actually see another application with this, because you know like some people, it’s like I remember my gran getting old, and she used to have trouble with her remote, pointing it in the right direction, but this would be brilliant – she was good at waving sticks at people, hitting you over the head with a walking stick, and all that stuff.