Saturday, 2 October 2010

Surf's Up!

This piece all came together around a curved piece of driftwood sourced from the R. Trent and because of the extremely unlikely event of finding another piece of driftwood with the same shape, it will remain a unique piece.
copper and driftwood clock
Surf's Up!
It is typical of a lot of my work in that it slowly evolved over time. My first instinct was to fit a clock face to it, but clocks are boring so it had to be different, much different. So although it may look like a clock, it isn't, not really. It's a surf indicator. Yes there are clock hands on it but no numerals. There are two reasons for this. The first is that we've all had the image of a clock face imprinted inside our heads since we were about 5 years old so we should know where the numbers are. The second is that it's fitted with a time and tide movement, the long hand indicating high and low tide. And what's more important, the ticking of the clock, or knowing when surf's up?
Each individual element of the overall design is intended to pursue this theme within the recreated environment of a breakwater.
wave detail wave detail
Originally the clock face was going to be a single wave, until a jewellery designer friend suggested I use multiple wave shapes. This worked far better, giving a view of waves increasing in height as high tide approaches. The wave shapes were cut from scrap copper sheet and soldered together, the wire stitches reinforce the joints and echo the ones on the posts and the two stones indicating high and low tide. The face was then sand blasted and coloured with a gas torch. A fine line of sand was glued to the leading edges of the waves to hide the solder and give a little depth.
seaweed detailseaweed detail
The posts are pieces of gorse root sourced from Studland Bay in Dorset and, like the driftwood, have been left unfinished to keep the whole piece as natural as possible. The posts have been wired to the driftwood and tension applied by the insertion of thin slices of gorse root between the posts and the driftwood. Sand has been glued over these at the front to hide them and give the effect of sand blown up against the breakwater. The seaweed is real and was collected already dried out from the Linconshire coast some years ago.
lapis lazuli detaillapis lazuli detail
The stones used to represent high and low tide were sourced from a local craft shop which specialises in fossils, minerals and semi-precious stones. Their shapes and colours were chosen to echo waves and sand. High tide is indicated by the smooth piece of lapis lazuli, and low tide by a rough chunk of orange calcite. And that is 'Surf's Up!' Much more than just a clock.

To purchase this piece please email me at