Mathmos know a bit about lava lamps; well they would, they invented them. And this throwback to that original and utterly iconic 1963 lamp, designed by their founder and designer Edward Craven Walker, is the Heritage Lava Lamp. One that’s available in designs and colour options that seek to interpret a feeling of the lively 1960s for £70.
The 1960s played host to so many popular culture phenomenons, like the MINI, Pentax 35mm camera and, of course, the Mathmos lava lamp. These may all seem like very contrasting things but all actually shared a modernist approach to design when originally invented. Now we can see with the Mathmos Astro lava lamp, that the modernist curves and organic shaping is exquisitely timeless. Mathmos know this only too well, so they haven't changed it. This means that incredibly they still supply spare parts for the lamps made in 1963.
Our Heritage Astro is constructed from anodised copper (also available are black, blue or gold aluminium) hand spun in the UK. The lasting result is a gorgeously silky smooth bronzy base and lid. Its presence adds a timeless sophisticated decoration to our studio, whether it be situated on a desk, shelf or even a stool. What we love about real copper is that it alters appearance based upon the lighting throughout the day. Demonstrating this well we had it situated in front of a granite mantle, where the self illumination from the internal bulb through the bottle, and reflection of the light within the room on the copper body, distilled a hazy warming orange accent light - this amalgamation looked quite magical.
Does it work?
The only reason we asked this early on ourselves, before actually flicking the switch located on the wire near to the lava lamp, is because it comes supplied with what appeared to be a feeble 35W halogen bulb, particularly given the size of the bottle. The truth is that it absolutely does work, with the heat reflector unit surrounding the bulb effectively warming the wax and making it float, and the bulb illuminating a bold glow too.
Despite the introduction of clever LED lighting solutions, like their own Mathmos Bump Lantern, the lava lamp can’t lose its enchanting charm. Staring at one is almost hypnotising and definitely brings a presence of relaxation to our studio's environment. In under an hour our orange wax in yellow liquid (also available in blue liquid & lava + plum, pink & turquoise in clear liquid) is heated so it can fluidly morph in the tapered bottle freely, and we noticed that the Heritage Astro is far more energetic in this regard than our slightly smaller lava lamps.
The Mathmos Astro Lava Lamp was an avant-garde creation in the 1960s and has unquestionably survived the journey through the decades to this present day without perceivably ageing. This particular Heritage effort from Mathmos is the one to opt for if you desire a tasteful flare from the past in groovy finishes, liquid and lava colours.