A spiralling sculpture powered by the sun
In the summer of 2017 my friend Ben Jandrell and I were playing with a clever little solar engine he had devised when we first imagined the idea for Uplift.
At the time the UK was experiencing a huge wave of pessimism around the EU referendum and, fuelled with a desire to lift people's spirits, we thought we'd try to produce something uplifting that we could manufacture and assemble by hand here in Britain and try to inspire a positive vision with an environmentally responsible product that's good for your mind.
A spiralling sculpture was the obvious way to express this sentiment and so we began working on a design. It was when I bought an early prototype home and my wife Charlie became captivated by it that I knew there was something special in this mesmerising little creation.
Charlie's reaction, having been hypnotised by it for fifteen minutes, was 'I've been thinking of absolutely nothing' - which I thought was a wonderful state of mind to be in as the device had clearly stilled the wheels of her mind after a busy day. So I was inspired to take the design a little further.
Our intention from the start was to produce a hand crafted, solar powered exquisite art piece. Something that could sit on a windowsill and work silently everyday whenever the sun was up. That would genuinely evoke a sense of calm, of non-thinking visually triggered tranquillity.
Three sketch books and a few dozen prototypes later we launched the original Uplift on Kickstarter made from glass, walnut, steel and brass - the resulting effect is exactly as we had hoped for - take a look in the video below.