Newton’s Bucket by Silo Studio

Silo Studio consists of Royal College of Art graduates Attua Aparicio Torinos and Oscar Lessing. Their backgrounds in engineering and design culminate to direct their focus on the use of industrial process as a way of creating art.

This pairing enables them to explore the possibilities of the ‘production line’ and results in methods which produce ‘non-standard’ products as an antidote to the culture of standardisation we see in todays market.


Their 2014 project ‘Newton’s bucket’ uses an experiment by physicist Isaac Newton in which he worked with spinning buckets of water to discover more about rotational movement. It’s also similar to rotation moulding, or even scientific processes like blood-spinning.

This science is employed in a similar way by potters spinning on a potter’s wheel but has been adapted here to create bowls in a different way. A metal bowl is filled with liquid jesmonite in various colours and then spun round at the precise speed of 76rpm. This causes the liquid to predictably creep up the sides of the bowl and set at the right moment to assume the bowls shape. Too fast and the liquid would go too far up the sides and create a hole in the middle, too slow and it sets as a pool in the centre.


This unique method forms fantastic patterns as the centrifugal force causes the liquid jesmonite to spread away from the centre. The studio have chosen a base of ‘op-art’ style black and white patters with each new bowl brandishing a beautifully striking new splash of vibrant colour.

My Opinions

I love how the process is random yet predictable, the size and shape of all the bowls are exactly the same due to the volume of liquid and speed of rotation, however the patterns of each one are completely unique like the stripes of a zebra.


I also like how this type of crafting pottery means that the pattern permeates all the way through the bowls structure as opposed to a finish applied only to the external surface. For me it gives the piece a more authentic and valuable feel.

My Practise

From this project I think what I can take into my own practise is the idea of transferring an unusual process to a design problem. By combining different disciplines more interesting and unpredictable results can be achieved. The kind of patterns made in this project could potentially form the basis of a font or printed pattern onto paper. I like the idea of a wacky process being part of a finished product and I’m definitely going to see where I can apply this into my own work.

I look forward to following Silo Studio’s new projects and innovations in the future!


Silo Studio Available at: (Accessed: 4/11/16).

Stratford O. (2004) Newton’s Bucket by Silo Studio | DisegnoDaily. Available at: (Accessed: 4/11/16).




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