I decided to make my wife a present and wanted to come up with an original idea. I liked the idea of a moving sculpture and after much deliberation came up with the concept of a mechanical clock which twinkled and flashed using crystals, candles and fibre optics, controlled by a mechanism, rather than electronics.
I can find no other use of candles with fibre-optic cable. I understand that this is likely to be because the light for a candle is not very powerful but all I wanted to create was a gentle twinkle so it sounded ideal for my purpose.
The second picture shows the clock where it lives on the wall in our living room alongside an amazing picture by our wonderful friend Sophie Capron. As you can see, I have hung it from the picture rail using a brass picture hook. The last five images show the clock lit only by it’s own light. In the last image you can see the powerful glow radiating from the bundle of fibre optic cables near the centre of the image. This is all from the candle.
The clock took about 40 hours to make used around 200m of wire.
It has been difficult to write a complete Instructable for the clock as designing and building it were dynamic simultaneous processes which involved me working out how the bits fitted together as I went along. The process you use will vary depending on the size and shape of crystals you use and the layout of the clock mechanism. I have aimed to equip you with the strategies and methods I used so that you can adapt the to your materials. Please don’t be put off by the complexity; it was built one wire at a time so you can take your time. Remember that having made any part of it, you can always redo it if you are not happy. There was a lot of trial and error getting the look and structure right.”