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The NDC Cairo Star Concrete Clock

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Most designers work out their ideas in cramped, workaday studios, but get their inspiration in much less conventional places.

For example, Heather Lam and Scott Bodaly, who run Toronto's National Design Collective, found the spark for their Cairo Star Cut Clock on a recent trip to California's Death Valley.

After a day of rock climbing, the Carleton grads were unwinding in an old-school saloon when they stumbled across a vintage book about diamond cutting. The Cairo Star pattern, a cut with 12 points, caught their eye.

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The facets reminded Lam and Bodaly of a timepiece – something they had always wanted to do. Although they cast their finished clock in concrete, the backing still has a bit of bling. It's made from translucent neon that catches the light and makes the whole thing appear to hover in front of the wall.

$150. Through thenationaldesigncollective.ca.

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