People have asked me how I got started on this clock thing. Here are some of my answers:

1) In 2009 I was at an art exhibit with a friend and saw an “Art” clock which I thought was really stupid. I told my friend I could make 100 more imaginative clocks than that one and he’s holding me to it. I’m at least part way there. We don’t always agree on whether a clock is “more creative” but now I’m just kind of in it.

2) Like any parent I used to tell my children bedtime stories. When they were old enough to be learning about telling time I told a series bedtime stories that centered around the Silly Time Land. Mostly weird time related concepts. (I think I may have distorted their developing conceptions of time in the process.) As they grew older I missed the story telling and started to make clocks derived from the Silly Time Land ideas and frame of mind. These are the results.

3) In 2009 I was in Hawaii hoping to brainstorm ideas for photoshop projects. For some reason I became fixated in the idea of how you would create an interesting clock where the hands were partially obscured yet you could still tell time with it. As I started to create clock ideas that addressed the question my mind opened and more and more unusual clocks came out.

4) From 2007 through 2010 I went through a period of having really terrible, disturbing nightmares that all centered around time. Being in 2 or 3 times at once, time being split in multiple dimensions, time stopping, time going backwards, clocks always being wrong, clocks always showing you late, having an crucial appointment but there are three clocks with different times on them. That sort of thing. After I would wake up from them, I would lie in bed trying to distract myself so I wouldn’t re-enter them when I went back to sleep. I eventually discovered that thinking up pleasantly unusual clocks calmed me and allowed me to go back to sleep without returning to the night terrors. Later I started to construct my clock ideas or the clocks from my dreams and the nightmares became less frequent and finally stopped. I continue to make the clocks in hopes of preventing their recurrence. (I feel like a 12 stepper doing one clock at a time.)

5) Many years ago I used to teach high school art at a small boarding school. As in many schools the final project for the ceramics class was to make a teapot. This was a nice project because it was at once very focused and yet allowed for great creativity. The rest of the art classes had the usual boring projects of “Do something in your chosen medium.” One year I decided to add an alternative to the final project which was to participate in a school wide clock making contest. The contest was a huge success with the students creating some of the most imaginative, creative and beautiful clocks I’d ever seen. The contest continued with good participation for 3 years at which point I was relieved of my teaching duties and the contests stopped. I had always hoped that those wonderful creations would somehow find their way into the world outside the insular environment of that boarding school. But I never found any. Some years ago I decided to have my own personal clock making contest. In truth some of the clocks are influenced by the ideas of those young fertile minds. But most are my own creative meanderings.

6) My deadbeat brother was “between” jobs, girlfriends and apartments, so had been sleeping on my couch for a month plus. And he was showing no signs of looking for any of them any time soon. At the time I was taking a woodworking class and as a project I made a simple clock which I proudly put it up on the mantel near the couch. His only comment (the next morning) was how he couldn’t sleep because of the racket it made. That was it. My next project was another clock. As I was designing it I realized, “If one mechanism made a racket, why not 3 mechanisms.” So I separated the hands in the design and used 3 mechanisms for the clock. After 2 more of these multi-mechanism clocks I could tell my plan was working. My brother was sleeping less and spending more time out of the house. My final coup was when it occurred to me that there was no reason to stop at 3 mechanisms and I made a clock with 5 hour hands in a row, 4 minute hands in a row and 3 second hands. That did it, I was rid of my brother and hooked on “clock” making.


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