May 08, 2017
When is a clock not just a clock? When it’s also a beautiful piece of modern art and a hint at the part of your story that took place in a wonderful location.
Sometimes when we think of a new product, we can turn it around pretty darn quickly. You all know that personalised prints are our core and the beauty of that is that we always have the raw materials to hand; super design skills and fine art paper!
So when we developed our coastline clocks (which use no paper at all - gasp) we had to start at the very beginning and explore all sorts of design ideas, investigate beautiful materials to work with and source the very nicest components.
Let’s start with the design. There’s something quite Dali-esque about our new clocks, with those undulating curves that time itself has carved away from our coastlines. We faithfully recreate all those inlets and bays to capture an important coastal location. It could be the beautiful beaches that you visited on your honeymoon, or the familiar seaside town you had fish and chips at with your family as a kid. Whichever stretch of coastline you like, we can recreate it for you.
Then we started to investigate all the beautiful woods that exist out there. Oh my! I can tell you I spent ages pawing over all the different colours and veneers and textures and smells – yes of course smells! With woods like Eucalyptus, Cedar and Pine the aromas in the studio were just divine.
For our coastline clock bases we use veneers over an MDF core for reasons of stability and practicality. You just cannot buy sheets of thin wood in a solid wood, for one main reason, they warp like crazy! So if you wanted an actual Dali clock, then with solid wood you’d have one pretty quickly! So, completely solid wood is just not an option. This is not bad news at all, quite the contrary.
For a start, with veneers you only use a thin slice of the wood, around 2mm. So that one beautiful tree is used extremely economically and responsibly. Our wood suppliers understand this very well and we were super impressed with their excellent environmental values.
Once we had chosen a selection of amazing wood types, we then had to see how well each one engraved. As all trees have different properties, they all engrave slightly differently. We had to be able to achieve something that was legible and a pleasing colour. For this part of the process we use our super funky Trotec 300 laser engraver, creating a permanent mark in the wood. We had to turn down some gorgeous varieties of wood just because of the way the engraving came out, but that still left us with a solid range of 6 utterly perfect woods.
Now, onto the acrylic detailing. You would be forgiven for thinking that acrylic is acrylic and there isn’t much to say about it. And when it comes to acrylic that you can cut on our hero of a laser cutter, that’s mostly true. But guess what? We found something sleeker, smoother, and altogether sexier. It doesn’t scratch like the standard acrylic is prone to, and the colours, oh the colours, be still my beating heart! Safe to say we fell in love with it a little more than is strictly “normal”. And the juxtaposition of that smooth man made surface against the grainy patination of the natural wood was exactly the contrast we were after.
Form was now well and truly taken care of. Now we started to look at function. And I’m not suggesting that was the right order to go about it, but what can I say, we’re artists first and foremost.
Would a clock that depicted a coastline make a ticking noise? Well, possibly. We’ve already talked about the very fact that our physical coastlines are carved by the ravages of time and tide, and that certainly isn’t a quiet event. But when we looked at why you would want to recall a coastline, at the events that become a part of your story there, we concluded that ultimately coastlines are wistful and dreamlike. Magical things happen there like engagements, weddings (dare we say conceptions?) and of course the everyday magic of just having fun with loved ones. Peaceful things happen there like solitary walks in and out of the surf, meditative stone tower building, dozing in the sun with a paperback. None of these things said loud, annoying ticking.
Therefore we selected clock mechanisms with no ticking noise, rather a smooth constant rolling around of the second hand reminiscent of gentle rolling waves.
All in all, we’re delighted with the results. I hope you will be too.
To buy our new coastline clock, please click here. And the best news is it's on an introductory offer until the end of May = £60 instead of the normal £70.
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September 15, 2023