The Japanese art of bonsai is about contemplation, reflection, and zen — what could be more calming than the ethereal feeling of floating in space? A new Kickstarter campaign is looking to combine the two, offering floating bonsai trees that combine magnet levitation and bonsai culture, and of course, they look incredibly cool.
Here, “little stars” are plants that sit above their “energy bases” and seem to magically spin in the air. The magic is actually science. Inside of the little bonsai planet is a permanent magnet and in the base sits an electromagnet that can control its strength. The two magnetic fields repel each other and the electromagnet adjusts as needed to keep the planet stable. It’s a relatively simple idea that powers thousands of executive desk toys, but watching these tiny plants turn around is still absolutely mesmerizing.
The Air Bonsai Kickstarter launched in January and has already blown past its $80,000 goal, no doubt due to the hypnotic videos that showcase the tiny floating worlds. The plants are carefully harvested from the mountains of Japan and handmade from start to finish.
There are two types, a standard version, which is a DIY kit of a floating moss ball with a porcelain base, and a more elaborate handmade version that is a handcrafted thing of beauty. For these versions, the plants are placed in lava stone cultivated from the Sakurajima Volcano in Kyushu. Their porcelain containers are made by hand in an extensive three-month process, then packed in antique Japanese wood boxes along with a cushion made of vintage Japanese fabric created between 1868-1960. No detail is left unfinished in the creation of these rotating shrubs.
The basic Air Bonsai set starts at $200 and goes all the way up to a $10,000 reward that includes a tour of the Kyushu workshop with travel and accommodations included. One of those has already sold so yeah, some people are really, really into bonsai.
All the Air Bonsai details and videos are on the Kickstarter page, and bonsai planets should ship by August 2016.
Will you be buying a levitating Air Bonsai? Let us know in the comments!