Secular Rosaries by Matt Jones 04.08.11

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The shipping forecast has been turned into a rosary by Matt Jones. The nightly BBC broadcast giving weather conditions at sea has a curious niche in British life. Going out at around midnight, the litany of different shipping areas – with strange names including Dogger, Fisher and German Bight – is both mysterious and familiar.

"I have this secular ritual of always listening to the Shipping Forecast just before I go to sleep," says Jones, a director at design consultancy BERG. "The idea of a rosary just popped into my head ... when you go to sleep, you're almost repeating the names of these areas, they're almost like saints. As someone who has gone to bed after midnight for most of his life, it's a constant companion."

Pursuing the idea as a personal project, Jones made a pattern from the map of the shipping areas and had it laser-cut into wood by the online manufacturing service Ponoko. "I wanted to play with these rapid-prototyping services," says Jones. "There's this nice ability to sketch something in atoms now, which was out of reach for a lot of people."

This rough "sketch in atoms" is just a prototype. Jones now wants to develop the rosary in different materials, working with a silversmith friend and experimenting with laser-cut driftwood. A version will ultimately be sold online.

 

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The Shipping Forecast Rosary

 

Words

William Wiles

quotes story

I have this secular ritual of always listening to the Shipping Forecast just before I go to sleep

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