Time, Rhythm and Motion

   by Teresa Reaver for Somewhere in Time (2015)

Tools used in the building process:

Band saw, drill press, metal rolling machine, propane torch, heat gun, hot plate, tweezers, grinder, sandpaper, sanding drums, belt sander, flexible shaft, hand drill, variety of drill bits, variety of files, needle picks, paintbrushes, bench pin, jeweler's saw, saw blades, jeweler's magnifier, camera, computer, photoshop program, inkjet copier, ink, acrylic paint, assorted markers, pens, pencil, notebook, scissors, tape, glue syringe (as candle mold), melting pot, aluminum flux, hammers, metal pounding surfaces, several types of vise, clamps, rubber bands, variety of objects for molding shrink film, ruler, water trays, x-acto knife and blades.

Materials and their usage:

One shrink film sheet: Cut, heated and shaped into the top and bottom of the hourglass, the domed cover for the watch and compass, sundial gnomon, watch hands and retention cap for the clock hands.

Shrink film sheet instructions: Globe gore sections, watch face and compass face inkjet printed on the blank reverse. I used this paper instead of the blank piece in the kit because I liked its smoother surface for printing, picked up detail better.

Aluminum wire: Small section rolled into extruded square wire for watch fob chain links, short lengths cut for a variety of support posts, spokes in cage gear on earth/moon mechanism. Moon support arm, short shaft piece of compass needle. Tiny, tiny bits, sawing and drilling leavings cut and melted for hourglass sand (arrgh! Crazy tedious process, next time put in some sand, just in case!). Hammered curved piece for sundial measuring increments, longer piece wrapped on hand crank shaft for gearscrew. Armpiece (starfinder) on nocturnal and assorted small lengths hammered into rivets for a variety of shafts.

Wood craft sticks: Several soaked in water to use as curved egde pieces on base. Five glued together and turned on drill press for mirror handle.

Two styrofoam discs: Large one cut into two smaller discs and glued together with smaller discs and shaped into sphere for globe.

Soho painting board: Tiny, tiny sliver cut off and painted with marker for watch “crystal” bezel.

Mini clothespin: Clothespin itself not used but taken apart for steel spring wire. Part of wire first used as watch fob chain hanger on side of base, later moved to under hour hand spoke gear as a retaining spring to regulate its advance. Small section (about 3/4”) straightened, hammered and drilled to use as compass needle. I attempted, unsuccessfully, to magnetize it to move on its own.

Two basswood blocks: 1/8' slices cut off of both blocks to be sawed, sanded and stained with markers for base. Smaller blocks cut, sanded, carved and shaped into supports for gear arms, globe axis support arm, candle holder, main parts of watch, nocturnal, and sundial. 1/4” stick slice sawed off and sanded round for extra needed 3/16” dowel sections for watch, nocturnal and sundial. 1/2” slice sawed, sanded, rounded and turned on drill press for hand crank shaft.

Square hardwood strips: Short sections turned for hourglass support spindles, hourglass mechanism support sticks, and watch hour hand gear spokes. Larger strip sanded and turned on drill press for horizontal support arm of mirror handle.

EZ shape modeling clay: Melted, cooled and red, sticky wax that rose to the top was skimmed off and mixed in with the white clay (hence the orange candle color). It was then reheated to a liquid form and poured into a mold made from a glue syringe wrapped in tape and suspended in an ice bath. The wick was made from the cloth bag drawstring. The candle made only one appearance in the final video as it was very soft and sticky and burned VERY fast. Most of the time it lived in my freezer.

Wood egg: Sliced, sanded and marker stained for crank handle.

Two round dowels: Large one, main gearshaft. Smaller one, globe axis and short lengths used as shaft for earth/moon gears and attaching sections of main gearshaft.

Plywood disc: All wooden gears with offcuts used for hourglass base, endpieces, hourglass mechanism armature and various extra spacers on smaller gears.

Aluminum bar: Sawed with jeweler's saw into small metal gears on earth/moon mechanism, two piece decorative support arm between lower main gear and upper large gear, turncrank arm and two support legs, partial gear rotation device on hourglass, armature support on moon and buttonhole fob on end of watch chain. Offcut pieces used for decorative tips on hourglass, advance tab for watch hour hand on underside of lower main gear, footpiece on half ball under compass and small bits of bar as well as wire were remelted with torch and aluminum flux into mass large enough to roll, hammer and saw into concave disc shape for wax drip plate on candle holder.

Cardboard mirror: Smaller circle cut out for earth/candle (sun) reflecting mirror.

Balsa foam block: Cut, carved, sanded and painted gold for mirror body.

Cloth bag: Taken apart, taped securely to 8.5 x 11 cardstock, printed through inkjet printer with image of the two nocturnal dials and colored with markers before gluing to wood base. Drawstring cord used as candle wick, as mentioned earlier.

Wood half ball: Stained blue and used as support dome under compass.

Wood mini barrel: Cut in half, stained blue and used as spacers for smaller wooden gears.

Wood beehive: Cut in half, stained blue and used as spacers for smaller wooden gears.

Cardboard box container: Soaked in water and layers separated. Silver paper outside layer cut into strips, rolled and glued into tube for sleeves on hour hand and minute hand watch operation.

Label from cardboard box: Carefully peeled off box, recklessly folded and stuck back to itself, cut into strips and then cut into small, circular glide washers in a variety of sizes. Used between all the moving gear parts.

Inspiration and Theme:

Time itself. I was immediately drawn to participate this year because time is a fascinating subject to me. Time is theorized, argued and approached creatively by almost all fields of study – scientific, philosophical, religious, mechanical, etc.

I wanted to create a piece that spoke to motion and movement of time, of how we measure the passage of time. I chose the design style from the dawn of enlightenment, hearkening to the masterfully designed orreries and clocks of the 17th and 18th centuries. But as I worked on the piece I was drawn to add the magnificence of our earth and moon as they move in the heavens among the stars. I wanted to reflect upon the images so clearly brought to us in the modern age by the hubble telescope, giving context beyond our own solar system.