Kacper Hamilton's brass device depicts time as matter

Kacper Hamilton's brass device depicts time as solid matter

Milan 2015: London designer Kacper Hamilton has created a complex sand-timer that uses weights to measure the passing of seconds and minutes (+ slideshow).

Mass of Time by Kacper Hamilton

Mass of Time comprises a set of weighing scales and a glass sand-timer, both suspended within a brass frame above an ebonised-oak tray.

An accompanying set of black anodised aluminium weights are marked with grams, seconds and minutes. Each is machined to a precise weight calculated in relation to the flow of the sand, so one gram represents two seconds.

Mass of Time by Kacper Hamilton

When the chosen weight – three, five or ten minutes – is placed onto one side of the scales, a stopcock is opened that releases sand onto the other. As the two sides balance, a blue hand designed to mimic traditional Swiss watch hands indicates that the chosen amount of time has elapsed.

Mass of Time by Kacper Hamilton

"I have always been intrigued by the concept of time," Hamilton told Dezeen. "I am obsessed with any object that depicts or represents time, be it conceptual or a timekeeping device. Contrary to what everyday life would suggest, time and space are not constant."

"I wanted to create a timepiece that questions what time is and how we interact with it," he continued. "Mass of Time is about allowing people to perceive and interact with time as solid matter, as a physical entity rather then something in passing."

Mass of Time by Kacper Hamilton

The device also references the mythical 'weighing of the heart' ceremony, depicted in the ancient Egyptian Papyrus of Ani, which involved a god weighing a person's heart against a feather on a set of scales to determine their fate for the afterlife.

Mass of Time by Kacper Hamilton

"The sand, specially sourced for its fine grain and consistent flow rate, is a snow-white colour to represents purity and perfection," said Hamilton, who has previously designed a set of wine glasses based on the seven deadly sins and a port decanter set that encourages users to constantly share the drink around.

Mass of Time by Kacper Hamilton

All elements of the piece, which pack away into a portable case, were made in London. The ebonised oak base was machined using Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) technology and finished by hand, while the borosilicate sand-timer was handmade by a glass blower that specialises in chemistry equipment.

Mass of Time by Kacper Hamilton

Mass of Time was commissioned as a one-off piece by shoe brand Clarks and the Halo Trust Charity. It was first unveiled at Design Shanghai in March, and then shown at Salone del Mobile in Milan last week.

Mass of Time by Kacper Hamilton

The piece will travel to New York's Frieze Art Fair, London Fashion Week, the London Design Festival and the Frieze Art Fair in London, before being sold at auction to raise funds for the landmine clearance charity.