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Heron’s Loop builds on a concept initially documented 2000 years ago by a Roman mathematician. A device commonly referred to as Heron’s Fountain, which utilizes a siphon between two vessels of water at different elevations also connects the air chambers of both vessels to magically push water uphill using basic principles of hydraulics and pneumatics. Once primed, water is drawn into the lower chamber forcing the air into the upper level of top chamber, which presses the water out of the upper vessel through a spout at the crest of the device. The drain at the upper vessel cycles the water into the lower chamber until the lower vessel fills to the air pipe. When water and air seek equilibrium though the sperate, connected vessels a delicate fountain springs in the top bowl creating an observable, pleasant effect.
In a traditional Heron’s Fountain, the water vessels must be disconnected and reset after the water course is run. By carefully considering the relationship between the vessels, the standpipes, and the dispersion of water and air, Heron’s Loop utilizes a custom central diverter which allows the water vessels to rotate and continue the fountain cycle. When the lower vessel, full of water, is rotated to the top position the fountain is reset and flows once more. This technique was in fact utilized by apothecary fountains in the late 1800’s and sold to promote the sale of essential oils used in burgeoning aroma therapy techniques. Drop a few sprinkles of your favorite ointment in the upper bowl and, as the fountain cycles, so too does a preferred scent. Inspired by the images of these unique antique instruments we have upgraded Heron’s Fountain, into Heron’s Loop, a live illustration of natural elements in pursuit of stability. By rotating the glass vessels around a central axis diverter, we can continually observe water seeking balance, just as it does in every stream into every ocean. As the gentle trickle of this water cycle might spread subtle sounds and scents across the air, we hope to inspire folks to find their own inner equilibrium – if just for a moment