It was a fascination with the cosmos and an interest in world faith systems that led PR veteran Alison Canning to astrology – and ultimately to set up her brand Nosti.
‘We’re made of energy,’ says Alison, who worked in London and New York for 30 years before selling her business and returning to her native Cornwall in search of something more meaningful. ‘The idea that we receive an energetic blueprint from the heavens at the moment of our birth seems wonderful to me.’ The surprising accuracy of her own natal chart led her to model it in 3D. ‘The more I studied my chart, the more I found it helped me know myself better,’ she continues. Hence Nosti, which is short for ‘Nosce te ipsum’, the Latin form of the Delphic maxim, ‘Know Yourself’.
Nosti can be used to construct a 3D natal chart – a personal map of the heavens at the moment you were born
As well as the company name, Nosti is an astrological orrery (an interactive model of the solar system) handmade in brass, granite and leather. Its arms and cups each contain a crystal that represents the sun, moon or planets; these rotate around a stationary earth crystal at the top. The wheel shows the 12 signs of the zodiac. Each crystal arm can be placed in any position on the wheel and so, in any of the signs. Rotating arrows at the base of the column also show the 12 houses of astrology, along with other items of astrological significance. As all its parts move independently, Nosti can be used to construct a 3D natal chart – a personal map of the heavens at the moment you were born – or to track the daily movement of celestial bodies. Or it can simply be enjoyed for its aesthetic appeal as a stunning objet d’art.
Interest in the ancient knowledge system of astrology is booming. According to Washington-based analytics company Gallup, one in four Brits and Americans believe in it.
‘Astrology has always been central to Asian and Middle Eastern cultures,’ Alison explains, ‘and it’s making a comeback in the West as people try to make sense of an increasingly complex world and look to more esoteric answers to life’s questions.’ And does really astrology work? ‘Well JP Morgan certainly thought so,’ she laughs. ‘He claimed millionaires don’t use astrology, billionaires do!’
Alison produces Nosti in three editions. The ‘Antiquarian’ model features images inspired by the medieval clock tower in Venice printed on ivory leather to resemble old parchment and mounted on a black granite wheel with aged brass components. Meanwhile, ‘Empyrean’, with its highly polished brass, royal purple leather and golden granite wheel has a more mystical feel for anyone with spiritual leanings. And finally ‘Neoteric’, a sleek modern version of the orrery in stainless steel, ebony leather and nero granite suits the style conscious minimalist who wants a conversational piece to their living space.
All editions are sold with a handblown glass dome to protect the workings from interference by children or animals, and to keep the orrery clean and dust free. Each piece is handmade and sells for £4,000 to £5,000. Bespoke models are also available.
‘The orreries make special gifts and beautiful ornaments,’ sums up Alison. ‘We can design them to reflect your personal taste and interior decoration.’
Nosti +44 (0)1726 870304 [email protected]
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