Tesla Mends a Broken Heart (snow globe)

One of my favorite scientists talked to me about Nikola Tesla a few years ago, saying that if he’d had the support and resources, he could have done amazing things.
In fact, we have no idea what he might have accomplished under other circumstances.

It got me thinking. Along with developing transmission of wireless communication, sharing free energy and maybe weapons of mass destruction, could Tesla mend a broken heart?

Tesla Mends Side 2 2014

In this snow globe, a tiny Tesla is dwarfed by his machinery, including an interior liquid and sparkle-filled tube wearing the mending heart. Shake it, and the water fills with crisp gold shimmers, much like the unseen energy Tesla believed was all around us.

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All designs and images copyright (c) 2014 Camryn Forrest Designs, Denver, Colorado.

Inspired by Nikola Tesla – Fate Magazine 1949

Tesla Article 1949 In the fall of 2012, I was fortunate to find a copy of a 1949 issue of Fate magazine, which began publishing in 1948 as a magazine chronicling the paranormal as well as scientific discoveries.

While the 1949 issue is no longer in print (and I was lucky to find a copy), Fate magazine still exists and is published as an online publication which can be found here: http://www.fatemag.com/

For those of us fascinated by Nikola Tesla, this particular issue included an article which begins like this:       “Contemporary with Edison was another inventor, not so well known, but of the two, the more spectacular. This was Nikola Tesla …

As Tesla died in 1943, it intrigued me that he was not well-known at the time of his death, despite his contributions to technology (more than 300 patents, some suspected to be still languishing untested in patent archives). My original copy of Fate magazine was given as a gift (to the person who first introduced Tesla to me), but as many people asked to read it, I scanned the article before gifting. I hope you enjoy it.

And for anyone who expected this blog post to be about my curious snow globes, as is typical, scroll to the very bottom of the page for a small gallery of sculptures inspired by Tesla’s inventions. And to the most recent email inquiry: No, these are NOT working miniature Tesla coils. Nice try. I don’t know what Nikola would think of building an electromagnetic coil inside a 4-inch tall liquid-filled glass orb, but I am pretty sure it’s beyond my technical abilities.

Tesla Article 1949

Tesla Article 1949

Tesla Article 1949

Tesla Article 1949

Tesla Article 1949

While Tesla has been credited with the invention of a machine that harnessed a mechanism for generating tremendous electrical force, known either as the peace ray or the death ray, depending on your point of view, he also designed and demonstrated a number of inventions typically called “Tesla Coils.” Tesla coils were used to conduct innovative experiments in electrical lighting, high frequency alternating current and transmission of energy without wires. The design of these coils has inspired several of my one-of-a-kind snow globes, which — when shaken — vaguely suggest the power of electrical force through reflective glitter and metal pieces shimmering in liquid.

Tesla Snow Globe

Tesla’s Workshop, one of a kind snow globe, Camryn Forrest Designs, 2012

Tesla Thing snow globe

It’s a Tesla Thing, one of a kind snow globe, Camryn Forrest Designs, 2012

Tesla Mends a Broken Heart

Tesla Mends a Broken Heart, snow globe, Camryn Forrest Designs, 2012

Tesla Copper Coil snow globe

Tesla Copper Coil sculpture snow globe, Camryn Forrest Designs, 2012

Tesla Chained snow globe

Tesla Chained snow globe sculpture, Camryn Forrest Designs 2012

It’s a Tesla Thing – waterglobe

I don’t know why I feel guilty, but I do: I had never heard of Nikola Tesla until years after I graduated college. How can that be? How does one learn that Ben Franklin invented electricity, Marconi invented the radio, and Thomas Edison invented the electric lightbulb and apparently everything else? Not a word about anyone else’s contributions.

Until one day, I asked someone to give me ideas for a gift and he wanted an out of print Tesla book. A what? Who?

And so my education began. Once upon a time, there was a brilliant man named Nikola Tesla …

Not only have I read up a bit (not everything of course, and I don’t understand all that I HAVE read) on this fascinating, under-appreciated and important man, but I have also begun to appreciate Tesla’s scientific work for its artistic quality as well as his contributions to our life today and for the future. There is so much balance and excitement and energy (no pun intended) in the devices he created and used.

So I have created several snowglobes with Tesla themes, often using the Tesla coil as a starting point to develop a tiny sculpture. This is one of the waterglobes with a Tesla coil – liberties taken – enclosed inside.

Recently, someone asked me what I was working on in my studio these days, and I said casually, “Oh, it’s a Tesla thing.” And my friend said “what? who?” and I realized it was my turn to tell someone else what we had missed in school.  And so, this globe was named.

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