“Where digital meets nature” is the tag line that runs across artist and designer Zelf Koleman’s website for his extremely unique clock dubbed the “Ferrolic”. It’s an $8,500 dollar desktop clock that combines both function and art into a unique piece that is unlike any clock we’ve ever seen. It’s certainly very expensive, but that is because the clock uses ferrofluid and powerful electromagnets to indicate the time, and in an extremely mesmerizing way at that.
Ferrofluid is a type of liquid that becomes magnetized once it is hit with a magnetic field. First developed in 1963 by Steve Papell, a NASA scientist and engineer, ferrofluid is one of the most unique substances in the entire world. Since it’s liqud that can be altered with a magnetic field, it can be shaped into nearly anything. Koleman decided that he wanted to use it in a clock, and his final product is something else.
The Ferrolic clock uses the ferrofluid to indicate the time in a truly exceptional way. Rather than using mechanical movements, the Ferrolic integrates the ferrofluid with the magnets making the clock seem as though it’s alive. The clock is extremely minimal in nature with it’s white face, aluminum frame, and black fluid, yet at the same time it is quite intricate. Once it’s turned on, the clock appears like that of a Rorschach test, one whose ink is in constant motion. Koleman is producing only just 24 examples, but has hinted that he will potentially launch a Kickstarter campaign in the future. While they are expensive, it’s probably the only clock of its kind in the world. You really have to see it in action, as words and pictures just cannot do it justice:
Photo from ferrolic.com