Gallifreyan Orrery

I’ve long been enchanted by orreries (working models of the solar system). They are beautiful pieces of engineering, and just a little bit magical in the way they capture something of the mystery of an endless spinning universe.

This orrery is different: it’s a moving model of Gallifrey’s binary star system.

I spent several months constructing the model and the box that contains it, and I’m pleased with how it turned out. It reminds me of an ancient artifact that you might find in a dusty, forgotten corner of a big blue box hurtling through time and space….

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Gallifreyan Orrery // c. Julie Coombes, August 29, 2016

The orange planet on the left is Gallifrey, which has (at least) two moons. One moon, Pazithi Gallifreya, was worshipped in ancient times as a virgin goddess.

Clockwise from Gallifrey:

  • Polarfrey is a gas giant.
  • Karn is red and rocky, home to the Sisterhood of Karn, keepers of the Flame of Eternal Boredom Life.
  • Shada is a prison asteroid, time-locked and dimensionally displaced in its irregular orbit.
  • Kasterberous ‘The Fibster’ is a large asteroid.
  • The inner planet’s name is unknown to humankind.

In the center of the system are Gallifrey’s two suns. One is a large fixed-orbit, yellow-orange star, and the second, smaller star is a dwarf in a ‘slave’ orbit to the larger star. The center of mass lies between the two.

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Gallifrey’s Binary Star System // Julie Coombes, 2016

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It moves // Julie Coombes 2016

Yes, the model spins. No, I haven’t solved the gravitational “multi-body problem” for this star system. You’re welcome to have a go, if you like. Let me know if you work it out.

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Box containing the Gallifreyan orrery // Julie Coombes 2016

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Steampunk Flux Capacitor

I’m a latecomer to the steampunk style of making things, but I’m having so much fun now that I’ve started playing with it. My favorite part about it is the transformative nature of steampunk creations, and their ingenious reuse of anything and everything. It’s truly a trash-to-treasure art form.

My first build is in honor of Nikola Tesla and Danny Rogers. Rogers is the unsung hero of Back to the Future: the British designer who created the drawings for the original flux capacitor. My version is a small-scale machine-age replica made entirely from found objects, recycled junk, and materials I had on hand.

Anyone up for a trip?

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Steampunk Flux Capacitor // made by Julie Coombes, August 8 2016

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Dragon’s Egg

Because the world needs as much magic, whimsy, and wonder as it can get.

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Dragon’s Egg // Julie Coombes July, 2016

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Star Crossed

Inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. An experiment in working with a monochromatic palette.

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Star Crossed // Mixed media on paper by Julie Coombes c. 2016

 

 

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Expectations vs. Reality, No. 4 & 5

I’ve been working on a series of collages based on the theme of “Expectations vs. Reality”. The emergent images reflect the reality that life always turns out a lot messier (and more interesting) than we planned.

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Expectations vs. Reality No. 4// Mixed media painting with collage and hand stitching, c. Julie Coombes May 2016

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Expectations vs. Reality No. 5 // Mixed media collage, c. Julie Coombes May 2016

 

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