Wednesday, January 20, 2010

fabulous clock I made for Christmas

I couldn't get pics of this earlier because our stooopid camera broke before Christmas, but my sis who I made this for graciously took pics of it for me and sent them to me. This was the most satisfying Christmas present I gave this (last) year. It was one of those projects where I sat down one evening before bed to start on it and then I got on a roll and finished the whole thing. I love how it turned out, and I love that all I knew when I started was that my sis wanted a clock and she wanted something blue. So I pulled out a clock that was big and hideous. It had gold trim around the face and a tacky silver face. The six-sided frame looked like dark wood paneling, complete with black stripes dividing indidual panels. Ugly!

I started by painting the whole thing with white gesso. It looked better already! Haha. Then I just pulled out a bunch of blue paints that I had. Some were cheap basic acrylic, some were spendy Jacquard. I put down one coat of blues, not uniformly, and then did the sort of speckling blob effect with different blues, making an effort not to make anything uniform. The older I get, the more I like things asymmetrical. I think it has something to do with life not being tidy, and how you realize as you get older that you can't fit life into neat little ordered boxes with equal amounts here and there. Anyway, I really liked how it looked, but I wanted something scrolly on it. So I took one of my scrolly rubber stamps and some blue ink, and did one stamp around each of the six sides close to the face, then I think I did a few more going outward that blended into the paint more.

I painted the face much more cleanly instead of blob-like (don't you love my made-up technical terms?) because I wanted a contrast with the outer frame. Then I had to decide what to do about the numbers. I am not into putting numbers on clock faces. But I wanted it to be somewhat functional. So I looked through my stamp collection and found some stamps that look like letters in some language, or maybe numbers. They seemed to go well with the scrolly stamps on the frame. Still, I wanted some kind of theme, even if it was very subtle. The abstractness of it all just wasn't enough by itself. I pulled out my own carved stamps and looked at the clock some more. Hmmmm. Blue is the sea. And the face has sweeping strokes, kind of like waves. Did I have anything sea-like? YES! I have a seahorse stamp I made that I absolutely love. So I decided to put him at 6 o'clock. So he's under the waves. And then, I realized, I was done. I hadn't been sure if I was going to stamp all 12 numbers, but after doing the four, I realized it would look better with only those four. It looked more like an ancient compass, I realized, with just four numbers. Even more nautical! But not in a sailor-suit way. Perfect!

Don't you love it? My sister loved it, which makes me very happy. There is nothing more satisfying than making something for someone who really appreciates it.

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