I bought these two demijohns because I was attracted to the scale and proportion of them as objects. I could imagine my next step involving less manipulation to the objects themselves and more of a focus on the immediate physical context of them and what could be made of them with this approach. I did my research about the demijohns and found that they are used for fermentation of wine and beer. I felt it was interesting that the use of the demijohns as a container of liquid in this time based process should inform my re-appropriation of them. The key to this being a different transformation from the previous ones was that I would not change the physical properties of the demijohns, I wanted to use them in their existing state.
I thought about the idea of time and was inspired by their shape and this brought to my mind the idea of an hourglass. The fact that I had purchased two of them made this a plausible transformation and by inverting one on top of the other I could image them set within a beautifully made mahogany frame with brass detailing that makes reference to the construction and accuracy of naval measuring instruments and sundials. I sketched this preliminary design to show the concept.
Design Copyright © 2010 Youssef Daoud
Sketch Youssef Daoud
The name hourglass I took in combination with the size of the demijohns to inform the 1 hour time which I hope to achieve by variation of the hole size and aggregate used (salt or sand). Traditionally these hourglasses would measure a maximum of about 15 minutes but my choice of 1 hour meant that I needed to reconsider how this giant hourglass will be inverted and the users' interaction with it. I felt that instead of setting them in a frame where the whole frame needed to be turned on its head to restart the timing (considering its mass) it would be interesting to come up with a solution where the frame stands still and the hourglass pivots around its central point which is what I attempted to express above and what I decided to prototype.