I started Weather In A Bottle in 2006, yet it has its beginnings way back - in a small school chemistry lab in New Zealand. As an end of year project in 1984, I made my first stormglass – a thing much ridiculed by friends and family… until it predicted Southland’s Great Flood of ’84. This stormglass - like the ones I subsequently made for local farmers - is still working. It hangs in my mother’s house (where she uses it to see if the weekend will be fine enough for her to play golf). I continued to make Stormglasses to give as Christmas gifts and wedding presents while travelling all over the world for my work in tunnel construction, as a Tunnel Boring Machine Operator.
During my six years as a monk, living in the silence and solitude of a Carthusian monastery in England, I made over 40 bespoke instruments, mounting the stormglass on beautiful woods, such as oak, maple and walnut. I continued to develop the presentation as well as the bottle, always striving to produce something at once both functional and beautiful.
In 2005, I moved away from using a plain 100ml test-tube with a simple neoprene stopper and employed a glass-blower to produce the three different shaped bottles now available from weatherinabottle.com. The recipe I use for the liquid within each Stormglass is a formula first used in 1770. Over the last twenty years I have slowly refined and perfected my technique of reproducing this formula, through the use of increasingly accurate weighing and measuring equipment and my continuing research into the strength and purity of the ingredients that the alchemists had available to them.
2005 was spent setting up the business and building the laboratory. 2006 is about making this work – producing the best Stormglasses in the world and having the joy of seeing them used as decorative and functional scientific instruments, in homes and on board ships across the globe. By the end of 2007, we will be taking up the challenge of adding both planispheres and astrolabes to the range of Weather in a Bottle products that will be available to you. Twenty-two years and finally the dream is becoming reality – I'm rapt.