Clocking off time

It‘s a beautiful art nouveau-inspired mantle clock that will always remind Vanessa Johnston of her grandmother who kept a similar clock on her mantelpiece.

Vanessa, from Seattle, is making all her pieces, including the clock, from wych elm and olive ash, two timber species that aren’t native to the USA.

The case of the clock was created with layers of wych elm that were steamed into shape, while the face was constructed with 12 wedges of ash and subtly gilded with 24 carat gold. The hands were also hand-carved from wych elm.

Designing and making the clock has been about learning different techniques including steam bending, veneering, gilding and carving – a perfect project to bring all those skills together.

The carving element takes place on the back of clock, with an intricately-cut lattice through which its Westminster chimes can be heard.

The wych elm veneers that make up the clock’s case were milled down using a bandsaw, then carefully made to the right thickness with a drum sander.

Combined with the complexities involved on the clock’s face and back, the result is a mantle clock that is both beautifully designed and wonderfully executed.

Vanessa is setting up her own company, Lothian Woods, and plans to stay on in incubation space at the school after graduation.

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