SEVEN SISTERS THERMOMOTOR

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"The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane." Nikola Tesla (10th July 1856 – 7th January 1943)


Product Description (Play Video)

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Above a sea of blue, seven hand-blown bubbles circle each other, growing and shrinking under the effects of magnification as they gently rotate. Each bubble contains within it the reflections of everything around it and the unique effects of the solid glass make this a mesmerising centrepiece.

How it works

Simply place tealights into the handmade tealight holders and light them to enable the motor’s rotation. Light a third tealight and drop into the middle to experience hours of subtle, ever-changing light.

Use scented tealights to add an additional sensory dimension to the whole experience.

The Science behind it

Based on a Nikola Tesla 1889 patent for a simple reciprocating machine, the Thermomotor is a unique British Invention.

When heated, the material coating the rotor disk above a tealight will exceed its ‘Curie Point’, the temperature at which certain magnetic materials undergo a temporary reduction in their magnetic properties.

This causes the material on the cooler side to become more attractive to the static magnet, creating the continual rotation as long as the heat source is maintained, and the material has sufficient time to cool before re-encountering the heat source.

Whilst the Thermomotor centrepiece looks very simple, it's simplicity masks a sea of complex variables to do with the laws of Physics, materials, size, heat-transfer and of course the consistently inconsistent fuel source - the humble tealight (chosen for its ubiquity and simplicity).

Product care and safety 

Being a natural flame product, safety has been front and centre in the Thermomotor's development and it is entirely fabricated from non-flammable materials.

The base is slate (a non-flammable material), and the machine parts are a variety of common metals such as steel, brass and aluminium. Centrepieces are similarly glass and other non-flammable materials.

The coating on the underside of the rotor - which makes it turn when heated by the tealights - is a crushed nickel/iron alloy of our own making which is permanently bonded in place.

Each hand-assembled machine is individually numbered and tested before being allowed out of the workshop.

"We wanted to achieve something slow and steady, something smooth and meditative and we also choose centrepieces that work well with this graceful rotation. In choosing them we scour various channels and sources but we are also keen to work with individual artists to create new centrepieces. We hope to foster these relationships going forward and we are actively encouraging artists and makers to get in touch with us." (Darragh Hewat and Dave Reed)