Makers & Brothers

Newton's Bucket

In 1689, Isaac Newton conducted an experiment where he hung a bucket filled with water by a rope. The rope was twisted up tightly on itself, released and began to spin rapidly.

Here is Newton’s description of what happens:

“The surface of the water will at first be flat, as before the bucket began to move; but after that, the bucket by gradually communicating its motion to the water, will make it begin to revolve, and recede little by little from the centre, and ascend up the sides of the bucket, forming itself into a concave figure.”

Inspired by this experiment and the “concave figure” that emerged, Silo Studio looked to create an experiment of their own. They looked to create a series of bowls that captured this moment in time, a moment in time, which by its very nature makes each piece unique.

“No great discovery was ever made without a bold guess.”

― Isaac Newton

Silo Studio exchanged the rope for a turntable, the bucket for a hollow hemisphere and water for jesmonite. They started to play with the idea of different colours of resin travelling through inertia.

To make the most of the coloured resin, Silo Studio created tools to disrupt the flow of the material and highlight the process. The outside shape of the bowl is determined by the “bucket”, in this case a hemisphere, the inside is a perfect parabola created by the dual effect of gravity and inertia. The result is a magical series of bowls, created in a way that has never been used for bowl production before, a process that each time creates a completely unique object. The video below is a great introduction to the production of the bowl series.

Silo Studio is the design collaboration of Attua Aparicio and Oscar Wanless, who formed the partnership while studying on the Design Products course at the Royal College of Art.

Coming from backgrounds in engineering and design, the core of Silo Studio’s work is very much a playful approach to very technical processes. They approach industrial processes and materials, bringing them into the studio with a view to re-imagining the possible outcomes. By adopting a hands-on approach, which they refer to as ‘handmade hi-tech’, they aim to discover possibilities that the production line does not see, developing the expressive potential in industrial materials. A magical mix of craft and technology.

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