3 years ago an idea sparked in our minds during a friendly talk about how traditional rosary could be modernized. Rosary is a hand toy, a cultural phenomenon, widely used in Mediterranean and Asian cultures as a daily accessory and hand toy, as well as a religious tool (as prayer beads) for meditation and also as a hand toy, a fidget in Western and Eastern traditions. The oldest known depiction of a "rosary" is said to be found in 16th century B.C. Santorini wall paintings of Thera.
Prayer beads are also a part of the Western Catholic tradition since 13th century. But with its traditional form rosaries are deeply localized rather than gaining a global reputation and acceptance in a modern form. Rosaries in their traditional form are deeply localized in different shapes and usages in different cultures and traditions. But it is also a proven and historical stress-killer and fun hand toy. So the problem is to redefine and innovate on this age old design and re-introduce it to the modern world.
To overcome this obstacle we focused on rosaries core function for thousands of years. An incredible hand toy that proved its worth and enjoyed generation after generation, almost all around the world.
That was a brilliant chance for us to put our creative efforts into action and discover our full potential for innovation, to reach a simple, natural, enjoyable, easy to carry and use in all occasions hand toy.
The design process was a home-grown effort. We bought 3D printers, created our own 3D computer designs, produced dozens of different forms and shapes, tried several approaches to find the best mechanisms that works all by our selves. A fun and tiring process, full of first times and learning curves that needed to be conquered.
The design process took almost three years! In which we had our best days and worst days of our lives, new beginnings and endings. Our life was also flowing like the beads rolling over that wooden ring.
WRAP IT AROUND.
The first step was to find the best way to build a skeleton that would help a rosary to take a solid form around the fingers while keeping the beads roll easily. A trial-and-error process with the help of 3D design and printing. I should note that the idea right from the beginning was wood and stone.
This video is the very first design, the proof of concept.
2nd iteration was also for concept proofing. Notice that we still had a standart string that couldn't hold the beads tight against the ring. This resulted with the introduction of elastic string into the project.
OVAL IS THE BEST.
But slowly we began being inclined to the ellipsoid.
With the 5th iteration we finally had our first wooden ring, though pretty in primitive shape. And our quest for the beads started.
With the 6th iteration we finally received our chalcedony stone beads and achieved our perfect click sounds and a heavier feeling for holding.
Wood is hard to shape. Our first prototypes were hand carved so they were at all shapes, sizes and mostly deformed. Still it was a wonderful level up.
COLOR OR NOT!
With 7th iteration we finally got our perfect, standard and machine cut wooden rings. Next step was finding the ideal color for the wooden ring. We experimented with dying the wood by soaking into turnip juice (that pink below) and turmeric (the yellow one). And to bring more depth and emphasize the shape of the ring we carved a shallow cannel with lasers.
And that is how we achieved the last and final design. A sense of achievement and satisfaction to finish such a process. There were obstacles in the way, that hindered our efforts. We lost our carpenter who helped us in the production of final and standard prototypes, due to a sudden heart attack. We respect his memory and efforts.
Research and design is an extremely fun process. And making unexpected discoveries makes it much more thrilling. When we were experimenting for coloring the wooden ring, we soaked various samples into different natural and edible materials. One of them was coffee. After we soaked our sample in coffee for some time and then oven-dried it, we realized that it smelled wonderful and for a very long time. This brought the fourth sense that Fidget Bead triggers, the sense of smell beside already existing touch, sight and sense of hearing.