My Very First, But Very Awesome Clock

So I decided to post into a little more detail about a clock I just made. It’s the first one I’ve ever done, and it was sort of just a trial…but I had high hopes, and I think it turned out great. However, if there’s anyone out there that does any clock making, please feel free to give me any tips or advice – any feedback, really. I can take criticism, too, go ahead…

Lol, anyway – it basically went how I assumed it would. Just create a largish art piece on some sort of flat-backed canvas, drill a hole, put the movements through and viola! A clock. I had to make a few adjustments at the end, but I think it worked out. So, onward!


The beginning, not a plan in sight…

So I knew I wanted to do a foil background. I’d just learned this technique, and I liked my previous attempts on boxes (also for sale here – So I had that idea, and I started to gather things to mold the foil around, all starting on a cardboard squarish shape that I cut and painted black. I grabbed things like coins, nails, screws, bent wire, bolts, washers, and even a razor. I also knew that I wanted a Steampunk theme with mostly iridescent purples and blues. So I glued the objects in place on my board and cut some foil to fit. I crinkled it up a bit first, for some texture. I threw down some wood glue and pushed my foil over it. I must have spent an hour straight just going around the shapes and really bringing out their detail through the foil. You can even make out the details on the coins. It was actually kind of fun. So I did that, then covered the whole thing with random variances of blue and red acrylic paint until they blended nicely. And then I did it again…and again…..and again. I layered the hell out of it until it was perfect. I then sprayed a VERY thin layer of glaze over the whole thing. I planned to antique it with black paint, and from my previous foil adventures I found that it was very difficult to rub ONLY the black paint off the foil. So I put this layer of glaze between the two so that none of the colors would come off with just water. Then came the fun part. I used my newfound polymer clay skillz and got to sculpting. I had made Steampunk molds earlier out of some metal gears, cogs, and clocks, so I put those to use with the polymer clay. Other things were hand-molded, shaped, and textured. I added a glass tile, some hematite squares, and other bits over the whole thing. The numbers for the clock were a bit of a challenge, seeing as I had no idea what I was doing. I had just learned a faux leather technique, and I wanted to play with it, so I used it on a squarish shape and carved the numbers into it. I then arranged it on the clock where I wanted the movements to go and secured it with Translucent Liquid Sculpey. I finished it off with some metal pieces and accents. Then, I baked it for about 25 minutes. After that, while it was still warm, I antiqued it with the black acrylic paint.

Actually, there wasn’t a *whole* lot left to do as far as clay goes. I’d forgotten to add the faces and few other pieces, so I baked it a second time. Now came my favorite part. I love, love, LOVE Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments. Mica, basically, I just like this brand (although I haven’t tried any others. I’ve heard of Perfect Pearls and one or two others, though. Perfect Pearls supposedly has a pigment binder in it that helps it stick.) So since Pearl Ex doesn’t have a binder, I had to find a way to get it to stick to the already baked clay. I’ve heard of rubs and whatnot, so I thought I’d try to make one of my own. I’m hoarding my secret recipe right now, since I’m not sure how I want to go about releasing this awesome idea to the public, but let me say it worked beautifully! Uses very little mica…this stuff goes a long way. I used tons of colors. Mostly variants of blue and purple, but the interference colors produce almost a rainbow sheen. So I coated the entire piece with my new mica rub. Perfect! Exactly what I was going for. I wanted to use Lumiere paint, made by the same people who make Pearl Ex, but I didn’t have any. It’s definitely on my next trip to Blick, though. It’s metallic paint that is somewhat iridescent and practically glows with color. Anyway, my rub worked *almost* as well.

I drilled a hole right in the middle of the largest face, and viola! ….it was way too thick. I’d measured wrong, and there was no way the hands would fit and work properly. I had two options. I could pry the whole face off and risk tearing the foil and many layers of acrylic paint, which I did NOT want to do. When you’re this far into the project, a major change like that can ruin the whole thing. Maybe if I’d cut very closely and gently around the face and through the layers of paint…I don’t know, just didn’t want to risk all that. Anyway, so my only other option was the cut and sand the face down. Which I did. It didn’t turn out bad, either. I’d used basically scrap clay to make the face, and it was from a mokume gane project…so when I slice through, it had a very mokume gane look. I antiqued it, then burned my signature symbol into it. Yes, I know, burning polymer clay releases toxic fumes. I sacrificed my health for about 2 minutes while I perfected the design and then glazed it over with a gold mica rub. I then sprayed the whole thing with a ceramic glaze. I had to drill a much larger hole, and must’ve spent an hour trying to gently and gradually increase the hole size. I’m terrible at operating a drill. I’ll learn, though. So I finally got the movements in and the hands attached. I secured it to the board, then covered it and spray painted the back black. It left some of the foil showing at the creases, but I thought it looked really cool, so I left it. I then bent the wire and fashioned a hanging hook on the back, securing it with a screw, and a lot of E6000. I’ve tested the whole thing on my wall for a day, now. It’s accurate, and everything seems to be holding up well. I’ve got it posted on Etsy, too.

Well, I had added a HUGE long rant about how art should be priced and what people should consider because art changes LIVES…but WordPress decided I didn’t need to say all that and got rid of the whole thing. So, sorry you missed out on that, folks. Anyway, yeah, art is great and you should look into buying some.


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