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Grandfather Clock

The longcase clock, also known as the grandfather clock, is traditionally known for its amount of detail and ornamentation within the design of the body of the clock. Adolf Loos, a Modernist architect from the early 20th century discusses ornamentation in his essay, Ornament and Crime. He says that ornamentation is a direct reflection of the maturity of a society, the less ornamentation, the more mature. For him, ornamentation is associated with primitive, child-like inhibitions common with the compulsive need to claim and mark things.

The design for this longcase clock is an exploration of Loos’ ideas about ornamentation. The overall dimensions of the clock remain similar to the traditional longcase clock – human scale (width and depth derived from the golden ratio to the height of the average human – six feet). The black acrylic shell is one consistent piece with slightly rounded corners, adding to the sleek nature of the design. The clock face is created by a juxtaposition in color along with a debossment of the white acrylic. Also significant to the clock face is the lack of numbers, a further attempt at stripping away the ornamentation by Loos’ standards.

The methods of fabrication include a CNC plywood frame within the body to serve as structure and support. The body consists of black acrylic that was thermoformed over the structural body, which served as a mold for this process. The white acrylic clock face and the black acrylic top cap were laser cut. The fasteners on the sides and top of the clock that hold the acrylic to the wood were created by a process of carving RenShape, casting a silicone mold, and then casting urethane resins over a steel lag screw.

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