I found a very tired and forlorn looking carriage clock in a charity shop. I noticed that it was heavy – made of solid metal. All the parts were present, and it was really only dirty and tarnished – the glass was clear of marks and scratches. A good find.
It was crying out to be rescued and up-cycled !
I like to use 3-dimensional objects to showcase digital art, especially fractals, so this clock with its nice flat surfaces is ideal for such purposes.
A complete dismantling is the first step. Just need pliers and a small screwdriver.
Everything comes apart – these better quality carriage clocks (albeit with quartz, not mechanical movements…) are nevertheless solidly built and trivial to disassemble because they are effectively ‘bolted’ together.
The old quartz movement I threw away.
Then, instead of cleaning the metal parts, I took a risky and fairly bold decision to use an approach that I have never before attempted. I decided to grind and sand the parts back to bare metal.
When you use an orbital sander on metal it leaves a random – sort of circular – pattern of striations, which is actually quite pretty. You can see the effect here on the support posts:
A coat of spray-on lacquer seals the sanded surface against future corrosion and dirt.
Carefully measuring each panel allows me to create images which will be the correct size when printed out on my inkjet printer. The Grand Julian fractal is one of my favourites for this kind of application. Here is the fractal image from which the panels were created :
The front face was created by overlaying one circular shape and then using a digital kaleidoscope effect with 12-fold symmetry to create twelve “buttons” – onto which the numerals 1 thru 12 can be overlaid. In this way, the clock face is integral with the front panel – minimal assembly required !
The panels – printed on a single A4 sheet – are laminated to provide a glossy look and to protect the ink from UV degradation.
After lamination and trimming to size, the new panels are ready to be attached using simple double-sided tape, and the whole re-assembled. A new (silent) movement is easily mounted inside.
Here is the finished piece :