How to Move a Grandfather Clock

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Moving-grandfather-clockPlanning to move your grandfather clock to a new location? Consider hiring a professional for the job. Here’s a good reason why. Not only can your clock topple over during a move due to its height and weight distribution, but its precision parts and delicate workings can be easily damaged because of improper preparation and transport. Finding a professional clock maker who offers long distance moving is your best choice. If you can’t find one, then your next best option is to hire a professional moving company experienced in dismantling, packing, and transporting grandfather clocks. They can also reassemble the clock for you.

But, if you’re someone who prefers the do-it-yourself approach, and you have the means and muscle to tackle the job, here are basic guidelines to follow:

Moving-Grandfather-#2clermontdirect.com1. Use gloves when handling brass

The natural skin oil on our fingers can tarnish the brass finish on a clock’s weights, pendulum, and clock face. To prevent this, wear cotton or vinyl gloves whenever you’re handling the brass parts.

2. Wind the clock, stop the pendulum, and remove the weights.

There are two ways to do this depending on whether your clock is cable wound, or chain wound:

Cable Wound Clocks
If the clock weights are held by cables, roll up some newspaper into three loose cylinders about 2″ in diameter. Then wedge each cylinder above each pulley between the cables and wind up the weight so that as it reaches the pulley. The newspaper will be squeezed and held tightly. hermle-grandfather-clock-01171-N9116111This maintains the cable tension on the cables and keeps them from loosening or tangling during transport. Two-inch squares of Styrofoam blocks can also be used instead of newspaper. Hold the newspaper or blocks steadily as you wind. (Never wind a clock without the weights being installed.) Next, carefully stop the pendulum from swinging and gently remove each weight. As you do, use masking tape to label each one: right, left, and center. Weights might look the same, but they don’t all weigh the same, and later when you re-install them, you’ll need to know their proper order. Wrap each weight separately in soft, protective padding to protect the brass casings from denting.

Chain Wound Clocks
If the clock weights are held by chains, wind the weights halfway up. (Never wind a clock without the weights being installed.) Then, thread some thin wire through the chain links just where they protrude below the movement and secure the wire tightly. The chains need to be snug so that they won’t come off the sprockets. Carefully stop the swing of the pendulum and remove the weights, labeling each one as described in Cable Wound Clocks above. Secure the chains by bunching them up and wrapping them in newspaper. Use tape or a rubber band around the bundle so that they can’t come loose and possibly damage the finish. Wrap each weight separately in soft, protective padding to protect the brass casings from denting.

3. The Pendulum

Delicately remove the pendulum by moving it up slightly to unhook it. Be careful not to use force. The pendulum leader must not move around during transport and would need to be secured without putting a lot of pressure on it. A good way to do this is to loosely gather a few sheets of newspaper around it so the leader is loose but not able to move.

4. Secure the chime rods

Chime rods could break off if they shake during transportation. So, secure them with tape, foam, or another suitable cushioning material so the rods can’t move in any direction.

5. Secure other fragile parts

If your clock has glass shelves or a decorative finial on the crown, remove these parts and pack them securely.

6. The Movement

Before your clock is transported, make sure the movement is securely situated inside the case. If your clock has a movement that’s simply set on two sideboards inside the case, remove the movement, and pack it separately. If you have a tubular movement, remove the tubes and pack them separately.

Moving-grandfather-chatfieldtime.comjpg7. Wrap the clock

Once your clock is prepped (steps 1 to 9) secure the doors by tying string around the case. Then, wrap the clock in a heavy blanket and tape it around securely so that it won’t shift. As an added precaution, tape cardboard panels directly onto the areas of the blanket that cover the glass surfaces of the clock case.

8. Transport the clock in an upright position

During transport, make sure the clock stands upright and is secured by straps. Laying it on its side or face down can cause the movement and dial to break away from the seat board.

9. What to know before setting it up

a. If the clock is being moved during cold weather, allow it to reach room temperature at its destination before setting it up. Freezing temperatures cannot only cause oil in the pivot points to gum up, but the delicate metal components in the movement can contract and restrict its operation.
b. Use the original manufacturer instructions to setup your clock. Ensure that the pulleys are properly engaging the cables and the chains are properly engaging the sprockets.

Last of all, now that you’ve done all the work, sit back and relax and enjoy your clock.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Clocks – Clock Facts Part One

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If you don’t know what you don’t know, then how can you know that you don’t know it? This article is about things you never knew about clocks. And if you really don’t know about them, you will after you read this blog. So here we go, here’s our first “I never knew that” fact:

Sundial-#2U-of-So-Florida

1. Who would ever think that the ancient sun dial has everything to do with why our clock hands move clockwise and not counter clockwise? Here’s the tie-in: long before the invention of the mechanical clock, people used the sun dial to tell time and in the Northern Hemisphere, and the shadow on the sun dial moved clockwise as the sun went across the sky. So, the medieval clock makers of Europe, naturally designed the clock hands to move in the same  familiar direction as the shadow on a sun dial. If the sundial had been invented in the Southern Hemisphere, maybe our clocks would now be turning counterclockwise; and if that were so, we’d probably be calling that direction “clockwise.”
Comment: Can you imagine reading a clock if the hands went the other way?

2. Who “nose” about this one? In the old days, some people used to place kerosene soaked rags inside of their grandfather clocks, thinking that it would prevent rust from forming on the metal parts.
Comment: But how did that smell?

3. This one is one of those “no–no’s”. As a general rule, never move the hour hand independently of the minute hand on a chiming or striking clock. Without your having to touch the hour hand, it naturally moves when you move the minute hand. Uh oh, if you do move it, that will probably throw the strike out of sync with the hands.
Comment: Oops!.. off to see the clock doctor.

4. AA_coloredGFCmillersville.eduFor this one we go back about 400 years. Galileo Galilei was attending a church service and noticed a swinging lantern. That led him to the discovery that the pendulum could be used to accurately measure time. Comment: What a brain.

5. Now for, guess what? Telephone companies. These days they have their own atomic clocks to keep their computers in sync with one another. When you call someone hundreds of miles away your words are broken up and transmitted between computers at both ends. Every second these computers jump back and forth thousands of times between one call and another. For that to work, the computers have to stay in perfect sync, and the atomic clocks make that possible. They’re what make your phone conversations comprehensible.
Comment: I’m glad something does!

6. Ten-Things-colored-eb3experience.comUgh! In the late 18th century Great Britain imposed a hefty tax on every clock in use, even in private homes. It was known as the “Parliament Clock Tax”. The new tax was resented by most. So clocks and watches ceased to be bought and droves of clock makers literally went out of business. Within a year the burdensome tax was removed.
Comment: Hey, what about a tax refund?

 

7. We thought we were done with “no–no’s”, really, but we just had to squeeze another one in. Never give a clock as a gift in China. The Chinese word “sòng zhōng” means “clock”. But it’s pronounced the same as another Chinese word which means “terminating” or “end”. That’s why, in the Chinese culture, clocks are often associated with funerals, and giving someone a clock as a gift, signifies the end of relationships or even the end of the gift receiver’s life.
Comment: Whew, I’m glad I found out now!

Ten-shp3x--bulk-pennies8. Would you have ever expected this? Old penny coins are what keep London’s Big Ben clock of the Palace of Westminster accurate. Each coin added to or taken off the pendulum makes the clock go faster or slower by 4 tenths of a second in a 24 hour period.
Comment: Is this what they mean by penny-wise?

9. Some people just don’t like to sleep late. Levi Hutchins was one of them. Because he believed in starting his workday on time and early, the 26 year old clockmaker, in 1787, invented the very first mechanical alarm clock to rouse him from sleep. But it would only ring at 4 a.m., and that’s the way he wanted it. His sole purpose for inventing the clock was to avoid oversleeping. He never patented or mass-produced his invention.
Comment: Is 4 a.m. before the rooster crows?

10. Did life’s daily work and play eventually become more precise because of this invention? It sure did, after the world’s first minute hand was invented in 1577 by Jost Bürgi, a mathematician, Swiss clockmaker, and a maker of astronomical instruments. Burgi’s invention was part of a clock made for Tycho Brahe, an astronomer who needed an accurate timekeeping device for his work.
Comment: Wait a minute! What about the second hand?

So, now you know what you didn’t know. So what?…

Well, you won’t have to go to the clock doctor, and you know who not to give a clock to as a gift, and who to thank for the minute hand and the alarm clock, and why the hands of your clock go in the direction they do, and why you might catch a whiff of kerosene around an old grandfather clock and those other handy tidbits. But, I bet there’s still plenty that you don’t know…well, I guess you can’t know everything, can you?

Check out part two of this series: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Clocks – Clock Facts Part Two

Photo Credits:

Photo # 1 – Sun dial – University of South Florida

Photo # 2 – Diagram of pendulum motion – millersville.edu

Photo # 3 – Tax time clock face – eb3experience.com

Photo # 4 – Penny coins from Great Britain

A Brief History Of The Grandfather Clock

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AA_coloredGFCmillersville.eduThe history of anything sometimes begins in unlikely ways with unlikely people. That was how it happened with the grandfather clock. In 1582, eighteen year old Galileo Galilei was praying in the cathedral of Pisa. Distracted by a swinging chandelier that had been just lit by the lamplighter, his attention got caught up in its movement. It was no surprise, being scientific-minded as he was, that Galileo began to time the swings. Having no other tools with which to measure, he used the steady pulse of his heartbeat and found that no matter how wide or narrow an arc the chandelier made, the time it took to swing from one side to the other was the same.

AA-GFC#2-Large-Galileo-robertjohnlangdon.blogspot.comOf course Galileo recorded his findings, but his discovery wasn’t going to be just another entry in a forgotten notebook. Some years later, he experimented trying to apply the pendulum’s precise movement to the measurement of time so as to regulate the workings of a clock. He hoped to produce a timepiece that was more accurate than anything before, and for the rest of his life he and his son worked at the task. But, in spite of his many other scientific achievements, he was ultimately unsuccessful with the clock.

AA-#2GFC-Huygens-bibliotheekeemland.nl
In the realm of science, one discovery often leads to another, and Galileo’s efforts were not in vain. For his work paved the way for Christian Huygens, a Dutch astronomer who himself was in pursuit of a more accurate clock for predicting the movement of the stars and planets. Accuracy of time to an astronomer is like a sharp chisel to a sculptor. Precision is a must. And in 1656, Huygens successfully “hitched” a pendulum to the workings of a clock. It revolutionized clock making by greatly increasing the accuracy of timepieces from fifteen minutes per day to one minute per day. Huygens had his heaven…stars and all.

AA-#2GFC-Huygens_first_pendulum_clockHis creation was the very first prototype of what would later be called the “long case clock”. At the time, these clocks were named “wags-on-the-wall” since their pendulums were short, and “wagged” back and forth like the tail on a dog. AA-#2-GFC-Huygens_first_pendulum_clock_-_front_viewThe clocks mounted on a wall and had cast iron frames and weights which dangled below. Not what you’d call “pretty” but they did the job.

Before too long, the clocks were encased in wood and in just few short years there were many versions of Huygen’s design. By 1660, English clock makers had thoroughly made over the “wag on the wall”  with a longer ten inch pendulum and a case of about six feet in length. As some things tend to get bigger and better, the pendulum grew even longer in 1670 when English clockmaker William Clement introduced the Royal Pendulum; it was thirty nine inches in length and took one full second to swing back and forth. Now this clock was something to get excited about. It varied by no more than ten seconds per day and was so accurate that a minute and second hand could be added to keep company with the hour hand. From top to bottom it was just over seven feet tall and to showcase its pendulum and weights, glass panels were eventually added.

AA_#2GFC=metmuseum.orgHere’s when, with these improvements, the towering timepiece became the first recognizable grandfather clock, although at the time its name was still the “long case clock” or “floor clock.” The next big breakthrough in the clock’s development was in 1715 by George Graham. His invention of the dead beat escapement took clock movements to an even greater level of accuracy.

It’s interesting that during the period of 1630 to about 1730, there was a kind of “Royal Age” of the long case clock. These timepieces were so expensive that only royal families and nobles could afford them (photo on right: a six foot high long case clock, dated 1675–78). But in time, production costs went down and owning a long case clock became possible for some well-to-do households. The clock would also find new homes in far away places, and in about 1685 the first “immigrant” long case clocks crossed the Atlantic to the American colonies where roughly ten years later their production began.

AA-GFC-#2Hermle-Castleton
There were many improvements in the long case clock from about 1670 to 1870. The cabinets changed in their designs, shapes and wood types; the square clock face became more visually appealing as its materials, shape and patterns changed; and the clock movements also progressed.    AA-GFC#2-Hermle-Amherst

Today, grandfather clocks are still styled using designs from that two hundred year period. That’s staying power;. The “look” of the clock has pretty much stayed the same, but the name hasn’t. How and why did the term “grandfather clock” take the place of “long case clock” and “floor clock”? AA_GFC#2-Hermle-CharlottesvilleWe can give all the credit to a song written in 1875 by Henry Clay Work, an American songwriter and composer. He named the piece “The Grandfather Clock”. The popularity of Work’s ballad swept the nation and by the early 1880′s the long case clock AA-#2-verticalGFC-Lyricsbecame known as, the “grandfather clock”. Today, smaller versions of the grandfather clock have similar names such as the “grandmother clock”, six feet tall, and the “granddaughter clock”, five feet tall.

 

As an object of beauty and as an impressive symbol of the passage of time, nothing is likely to replace the stature of the grandfather clock. Knowing about its eventful history and how it became the magnificent timepiece that it is, adds to how much more we can appreciate it. If you’re interested in perusing  some of today’s traditional and modern style grandfather clocks, you can see them here on our website.

Have you an heirloom grandfather clock in your family? If you do we’d love to hear from you about its history.

Photo Credits:

Photo #1 – Diagram of pendulum motion

Photo # 2 – Galileo Galilei

Photo # 3 – Christian Huygens

Photo # 4 – First pendulum clock – front view diagram

Photo # 5 – First pendulum clock – side  view diagram

Photo # 6 – Antique grandfather clock

Photo # 7 – Hermle Castleton Grandfather Clock

Photo # 8 – Hermle Amhurst Grandfather Clock

Photo # 9 – Hermle Charlottesville Grandfather Clock

Photo # 10 – traditionalmusic.co.uk

How The Grandfather Clock Got Its Name

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It’s been said that the popularity of a song can turn folklore into “fact”. Maybe that’s true about the old song “My Grandfather’s Clock”. Or maybe the song does tell a true story? Who can be sure. Either way, that old tune was how the grandfather clock got its name.

A-GFC#3-color-corrected_Name-hotels.uk.comThe “myth”began in 1875 at the George Hotel in the Piercebridge area of North Yorkshire, England. The hotel was a 16th century riverside inn, charming place where weary travelers stopped for rest and a steaming bowl of pea soup and mutton pie. The hotel had been previously owned and managed by the Jenkins brothers, both bachelors, who had both passed away. One day, an American songwriter, Henry Clay Work was visiting England and stayed at the hotel. A-GFC-#2Name-HenryClayWork-traditionalmusic.co.ukNoticing in a corner of the lobby a large floor clock, or long case clock, as they were called back then, with a pendulum that wasn’t swinging, he became curious. His artistic sensibilities must have been at work and so he asked the proprietor about the clock’s history.

Work listened closely as the story unfolded. It went like this: The clock had always kept accurate time until one of the Jenkins brothers passed away. It wasn’t long before the clock started losing time, first by a minute or so every few days, then by a minute every day, then by several minutes every day. Local clock smiths labored in vain; no matter what they tried the clock refused to keep accurate time.

Then, one day when the surviving Jenkins brother passed away in his ninetieth year, the fully wound clock abruptly stopped. As the story goes, the moment the clock stopped was 11:05, the exact same time the older brother died. The new owner of the George Hotel tried having the clock repaired but all attempts failed. A-GFC#2-Name-creativecommons.orgAnd so to this day, the clock stands in the corner of the lobby, having become a landmark of its own, dusted and polished, but still without a tick or a tock.

That unusual story inspired Work to write a song based on it. He dedicated the song to his sister, Lizzie and named the piece “My Grandfather’s Clock”. The lyrics told of a clock that was “taller by half than the old man himself” and that “stopped short – never to go again when the grandfather died.”

 

The song was published in America in 1876 and what a big hit it was, selling over a million copies in sheet music. It’s melody and lyrics penetrated the hearts and minds of people everywhere and eventually the term “grandfather clock” became synonymous with this style of clock that inspired the song. It was Work’s best-known song, and has been recorded by such diverse artists such as Johnny Cash, Gene Krupa, Lawrence Welk, folk singer Burl Ives and R&B vocal group Boyz II Men.

Henry Clay Work’s song just keeps on ticking.

We found this excellent video with the song performed by Tom Rouch from his new album. Historic photos and graphics as well as the actual sheet music follow the song from from beginning to end.  Have a look!

I’m guessing that this article may have kindled your interest in grandfather clocks. If so, check our fine selection of Hermle Grandfather Clocks.

Photo Credits:

Photo #1 – hotels.uk.com

Photo #2 – traditionalmusic.co.uk

Photo #3 – creativecommons.org

Video Credit:

musicoftomroush.com

Blog-Black#2-Clouds-Forest-germany.travel.en

The Clock Route Of The Black Forest

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What if you knew there was a vacation spot that combined your love of clocks with breathtaking scenery, German tradition, delicious cuisine and historic sites? Well, there is such a place. Up high on the mountain range in the southwest region of Blog-Black#3-Forest-germany.travel-en-index-htmlGermany, bordering the Rhine River, sits an expansive carpet of trees known as the Black Forest. It’s a  place filled with myths and fairy tale settings, where if you were ever to cross paths with a hobbit or a team of dwarfs, that’s where it could happen.

Easy Exploration

You can be one of the millions of visitors who stroll through the Forest each year. When you’re there, you’ll find a series of travel routes throughout the region that make it easy to explore at your own pace. A-Black#2-Forest-MAP-black-forestEach route journeys through places that are linked by a common theme; among the most popular routes are the Romantic Route along the Rhine River, the Schwäbisch Baroque Route and the circular shaped Clock Route known in German as “Deutsche Uhrenstrasse.”

Sites, Sounds and Smells

The path of the Clock Route is a circular, so any town along the way is a proper starting point. The route road is a packed tour of discovery and runs about about 320 kilometers through an immense variety of sites, sounds, smells, culture and history. You’ll encounter picturesque towns and A-black#2-forest-myfamouscastles-blogspot-comquaint villages with shop signs of wrought iron, hotels, inns, guest houses and restaurants that serve local specialties like smoked ham and streamed trout… and of course Wild Cherry German Schnapps. The route takes you through many scenic charms of the Black Forest – half-timbered farmhouses with wooden shingles, crystal clear streams, lakes and waterfalls, lush meadows, winding valleys and thick forests of dark green. Then there are the ancient castles, monasteries and Roman baths, skiing in the winter,  hiking in the summer, and a diverse selection of health and wellness resorts. The more you know about this remarkable place, the better it sounds.

A-Black3-Forest-cuckoo-sample-rh4571Yet, with its amazing lineup of impressive attractions, one of the biggest reasons tourists head to the Black Forest is the allure of the humble cuckoo clock. In fact, the charm of the cuckoo clock has played such an important role in shaping region’s history, that the clock has long standing been a symbol of the Black Forest and it’s 300 years old tradition of clock making. What better introduction to that tradition could there be than a jaunt down the German Clock Route?

As you journey the route you’ll find small clock making workshops, state of the art factories like Rombach and Haas and Anton Schneider, and clock painting studios. You’ll be able to observe, first hand style, clock smiths working their craft, from beginning to end; and by the time you’re done you’ll have a greater insight into the art and science A-Clock-Paintingof German clock making.

World’s Largest Collection

Along the entire stretch of the Clock Route,  you’ll also encounter so many fascinating places, rich in tradition with a story to tell. One of those places is Furtwangen. Your camera will be busy in this small picturesque city, which for a long time, has been the largest clock production center in the region. It’s also the home of the world famous German Clock Museum (“Deutsches-Uhrenmuseum”.) A-Black#2-Forest-antique-deutsches-uhrenmuseum.deBut get ready, because they have the world’s largest collection of A-black-antique-wrought-museum-furtenwagen-ironGerman clocks – over 4,000 of them. So, you might want to set aside some extra time to Frühe Kuckucksuhr, Schwarzwald (?), 2. Hälfte 18. Jahrhundert.take it  all in. The museum began as an idea of Robert Gerwig, the headmaster of the first clock maker’s school founded there. That was in the mid nineteenth century. In his foresight, he urged the people to keep and collect the old hand-carved wooden clocks that would eventually become the beginning of the German Clock Museum. And if you want to behold the landscape from a high vantage point, take a climb up the Furtwangen’s observation tower for a magnificent view.

Where The Cuckoo Clock Was Born

Not far from Furtwangen is the beautiful holiday retreat spot of Schonwald, the place where by popular and traditional belief, clock master Franz Kellerer devised a clever mechanical system using two small bellows and wooden whistles, much like the pipe organ, to reproduce the familiar two-note call of the cuckoo. The year was about 1740, and that was the birth of the world’s very  first cuckoo clock.

A-#2Black=Forest-domenico1974.wordpress.com-schiltach-4Continuing on the route, you’ll come to Schwenningen, formerly the biggest clock-making town in the world. There you’ll find the Museum of Clock Industry housed in an old factory building. It’s well worth your visiting time, especially if you’re interested in the history of the alarm clock and industrial clock. There is also a health spa, clock workshops, an ice skating rink and the International Aircraft Museum. It’s a town with plenty of character.

When you come to the beautiful town of Schonach, you’ll see and hear the largest cuckoo clock in the world. And if you’re a hobby clock maker or looking for replacement parts for old clocks, you’ll find Trossingen to be a paradise with over 10,000 clock building items. But let’s not forget about grandfather clocks – in the towns of  Lenzkirch and Lauterbach you can take in some excellent exhibits featuring a number of stately grandfather clocks and their German history. And in the village of Simonswald, known for its cuckoo clock production, you can also experience its folklore evenings,  jewelry making, old world mills and its many restaurants dating back to the 15th and 16th century.

Ketterer devised a clever mechanical system using two small bellows and wooden whistles, much like the pipe organ, to reproduce the distinctive two-note call of the cuckoo. – See more at: https://www.thewellmadeclock.com/the-little-pipe-organ-history-of-the-cuckoo-clock.aspx#sthash.utit90hg.dpufWhen you come to the beautiful town of Schonach, you’ll see and hear two of the largest cuckoo clocks in the world. And if you’re a hobby clock maker or looking for replacement parts for old clocks, you’ll find Trossingen to be a paradise with over 10,000 clock building items. But let’s not forget about grandfather clocks – in the towns of  Lenzkirch and Lauterbach you can take in some excellent exhibits featuring a number of grand (stately) grandfather clocks and their German history. And in the village of Simonswald, known for its cuckoo clock production, you can also experience its folklore evenings,  jewelry making, old world mills and its many restaurants dating back to the 15th and 16th century.

Want to see an  A-Black#2-Forest-travel-Triberg-waterfallsimpressive collection of antique Black Forest clocks and  barrel organs? You can at the Black Forest Museum (“Schwarzwaldmuseum”)  It has the largest collection of barrel organs in Europe. The museum is located above the entrance to the beautiful Triberg waterfalls, the highest in Germany.  A-Black#2-liveauctioneers-organWhen you arrive at the entrance to the falls in the morning bring a bag of peanuts with you –  you’ll find a whole lot of squirrels waiting for a second breakfast.

So if you’ve been thinking of a new place to visit on your next vacation, Germany’s Black Forest could be just for you. We’ve touched on just some of the attractions; there are so many more.

In the meantime, you can take a “guided tour” of the Black Forest in just two minutes…

by watching this video of the Black Forest. One of its stops is Staufen, a charming medieval  town with cobblestone streets and colorful buildings, located along the southern trunk of the forest.  Enjoy!

 

 

Photo Credits:

Large Top Photo #1 – View Of Valley With Clouds – germany.travel/en/index.html

Photo #2 – View Of River Through The Trees – germany.travel/en/index.html

Photo #3 – Map Of Germany – mygermancity.com

Photo# 4 – Liechtenstein Castle – myfamouscastles.blogspot.com

Photo #5 – Rombach and Haas Cuckoo Clock -TheWellMadeclock.com

Photo# 6 – Artist Painting Clock Faces – germany.travel/en/index.html

Photo #7 – Antique German Shield Style Wall Clock – deutsches-uhrenmuseum.de

Photo #8 – Antique Wrought Iron Mantel Clock – deutsches-uhrenmuseum.de

Photo #9 – Antique German Cuckoo Clock – deutsches-uhrenmuseum.de

Photo #10 – Small Black Forest Town – domenico1974.wordpress.com

Photo #11 – Waterfall in Triberg – black-forest-travel.com

Photo #12 – Antique German Barrel Organ – liveauctioneers.com

Video Credit:

A Walk In The Woods – ricksteves.com

Decorating With Clocks

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 A  vase, a painting, a statue…

when we think of home decorating, these usually come to mind. But I wonder how often we consider a wall, mantel or floor clock instead? BLOG#2-hermle-Porcelain-22686000130-These may not leap out at first because we’re so used to clocks as functional things and we can overlook their aesthetic appeal. But thinking of a clock as a piece of art and as an expression of our personality, our approach to decorating will surely be different. A well chosen timepiece becomes part of the ensemble of the furnishings of a room. Traditionally, clocks have been used for centuries to beautify a home and imbue it with atmosphere and character. With so many shapes, textures, sizes and designs, their versatility works very well in any style of decor whether it’s traditional, contemporary, country, whimsical, vintage or ultra-modern.

BLOG-Hermle-Debden-Mantel-22864_070340Where do you begin when decorating with clocks…

and are there any general rules to follow? I asked Darsi Floersh, an award winning senior interior designer with O’Hara Interior Designs. She said “There is no fixed formula in the approach. But what I have found to work best in choosing a timepiece is to keep in mind these four aspects in relation to the elements of the room: color, shape, style and proportion. My experience in using clocks for various motifs is that they’re highly versatile and complimentary, and with so many to choose from, in the end the only real way to find what works is to try it. Use your eye and trust your artistic instincts. You might be very surprised. And if you get down to the final finishing touches in a room and you’re stumped about what to put there, a clock can often be the answer. Sometimes it’s those unplanned final finishing touches that become the most important element of the overall design.”

So take a look around your home. As you’re doing that…

think about color, shape, style and proportion. Then just choose a timepiece that you feel represents you, one that will enhance your decor…and sit back and enjoy the interest and beauty it adds to your room. Sometimes decorating with a clock can be as simple as hanging it in place of a painting, but there are many other ways to decorate with clocks as you’ll see below.

Clock Galleries

We’ve all seen photo and art galleries. But then there is a different kind of gallery, the clock gallery, where a grouping of clocks are arranged on a wall in a variety of ways. A-Blog-Clock-deco-grouping-PintClock galleries have become a trend in interior decorating and there are so many creative display possibilities. Here are a few ideas:

Design Feature Gallery

A-deco-mastenonlin.blogspot.com-gallery-oversizeHave you a wall or hallway that needs a new tempo? Create a gallery of clocks by arranging various sizes and shapes in an interesting pattern.  If you already have an art or photo gallery in your home, add a clock or two for variety and interest. In the photo on the right, a varied assortment of styles of large wall clocks creates a dramatic display that enhances the rustic exposed brick.

Time Zone Gallery

Here is a fun idea that keeps memories warm. If you have favorite vacation spots abroad, hang several wall clocks to display the different time zones. It’ll keep you connected to those places whenever you see the clock.

Bliss Image Gallery

A-time-zonegallery-houseofpenoched...etcLong-distance: If you have people you care about living far away you can set the clocks to their time zones and think about them whenever you check the hour. One loving mother who has three sons living abroad has hung three clocks all in a row showing the time in India, London and Chicago.

Children’s Birth Times: Want to celebrate important moments? Set the clock hands to display the exact time of the births of each of your children or grandchildren. Depending on the type of clock you have, battery operated or mechanical, stopping the time is easily done by removing the battery or by not winding the clock. You can also hang photographs above the clocks to create a clock-photo combination display.

Focal Point of a Room

A-#2Blog-focal-point-placesinthehome-Did you know that a clock doesn’t always have to “blend in” to the theme of a room? There are a variety of creative ways to give your clock “center stage”. Here are a few suggestions:

Location: some locations within a room are more obvious than others. Pick a prominent spot that frequently catches your eye and place your clock there. One way to do that is by putting it directly across from the entryway so that it’s the very first thing you see when you enter the room.

Size: Chic over-sized wall clocks like our 30″, 36″ and 49″ sizes are real attention-getters. Sometimes a large clock is all that’s needed to create a stunning effect on a room.

Color and Tone: Want to draw attention and stir up fun in rooms? Bright colored clocks are a great way to do that. Especially if you have mostly neutral colors. And in a room full of solids, a busy patterned clock can add texture and pop. A-deco-Hermle -orangesColor can also be used to tie a room together. For example, a maroon clock can bring out the maroon color in the pattern of an easy chair or sofa. And placing a dark colored clock on a white or light colored wall is an eye-catching option; or if your wall has a dark tone, place a light colored clock. Painters do it all the time. One dark spot of color put in an area of light can bring the needed emphasis and contrast to the painting. Play around with the color, shape or pattern of your clocks and see what a pleasing arrangement you can make.

Mixing It Up: The rules of keeping the decor of a room within a consistent time have become flexible. So you can use a traditional period clock as a focal point in a contemporary period room.BLOG-#2Rock-Powered 7640-rh7640webbig_289x433

 

BLOG#2-Hermle-Lester 70503000701 70503_000701Shy? Reluctant to take the plunge and put a bold or unusual clock in the middle of your living room? Then try it in a family room, den or home office.

Shelf It

A-#2deco-raisingmightyarrows.netMantel ClockOne good pointer to follow when placing a clock on a shelf is make sure that your clock is a different size  than other objects on the shelf.  That size variation will create more visual interest and flow.

Clocks and books make a great combination on a shelf, bookcase and of course a fireplace mantle. They can be used as bookends to hold a vertical row of books. Two or three clocks can also be positioned asymmetrically on top of horizontally stacked books. You can get pretty creative by selecting the size and color of the clock based on the size and color of the books. Antique clocks also look so good when mixed in with vintage books. And sometimes a table top clock or desk clock placed in just the right spot can be that perfect and needed finishing touch.

 

Large Wall Clocks

A-Blog-deco-big-fireplace-wall Do you have a high ceiling and a tall blank wall? A large wall clock not only fills the empty void but as I mentioned before it creates a center of attention. Oversize wall clocks can also be used for mantle displays when you have a sizable empty space above your fireplace. So instead of hanging the clock on the wall, just let it rest right on the top of the mantle. Make sure to securely stabilize the clock so that it doesn’t roll away. You can also hang it very low just above the mantle so that it appears to be resting on the top of the mantle.

Planning to place a wall clock on a large wall with no other wall hangings? Make sure you have a clock that is large enough so that it doesn’t look lost in the space, and be sure to hang the clock at the appropriate height (usually a little above eye level). Placing your clock too high or too low will spoil the effect in the same way that a painting loses it’s impact if it’s placed too high on a wall.

Stately Grandeur & More – Grandfather Clocks 

A-blog-deco-grand-archesWhen we think of a grandfather clock most of us picture it standing in a traditional location like a living room or an entryway or foyer. A-Blog-Deco-Grandf-near-stairBut there’s something about the design and presence of this magnificent timepiece that gives it so many decorating possibilities. It can add a touch of elegance in unlikely places such as a corner between two windows or a short span of wall space close to an open entryway. A grandfather clock A-blog-deco-grand-stair-landingcan stretch or shrink our visual perception of room by making ceilings appear higher or a large room more intimate and cozy. It’s been put to use as a room divider and as an unexpected oasis to greet us on the landing of a stairway.

 

 

Warming Up – Offices & Reception Areas

A tastefully decorated office or reception area can make that first impression a positive one. And for some professionals such as consultants  who meet  clients on a on-on-one basis, a fine timepiece on a shelf or desk adds an inviting cordiality and relaxed charm to the atmosphere.

Take Time Out For Patios and Gardens

A-blog-garden-clock-gardenornamentsdirect.comOutdoor wall clocks can lend elegance and a luxurious feel to just about any outdoor setting. Some multifunction models measure temperature and humidity as well.A-blog-deco-outdoor-garden-clock Pedestal clocks in a larger garden area can also be an unexpected addition. Brandie Morris of Electric Time Company recently told me about a pedestal clock, (better known as a “street clock”) that they have just designed for a homeowner. He plans to present the clock as a gift to his wife commemorating their wedding anniversary and the purchase of their home, both falling on the same date. The crown of the clock is inscribed with “Home Sweet Home” and the dial with the mutual date. How original!

Kinetic Sculpture

Kinetic art is as an art form that involves motion. Because that’s such a broad definition, it encompasses many different styles of art and endless possibilities. Are clocks included? Certainly! Any analog clock with a moving pendulum is a true kinetic sculpture; the most kinetic one of all being the cuckoo clock BLOG-#2Schneider-cuckoowith its ever busy cuckoo bird making its rounds in and out the door. And if the cuckoo clock features animated figurines that dance, eat, drink, chop wood and so on, then it’s that much more of a kinetic spectacle. Isn’t it good to know there’s no rule in decorating that says objects need to be perfectly still?

Not Seen But Felt

Clocks offer not just visible possibilities as decorative pieces, but something more. Get ready, because this is not the typical stuff you read in articles about decorating with clocks. So here goes. Clocks with their rhythmic ticking and swinging pendulums bring a certain universal character to a room in a way that is uniquely their own. Here’s why: rhythm is perhaps the most basic pattern in all of nature. And because the inner workings and outward movements and sounds of a clock are all based on rhythm, having a clock in a room can remind you of and connect you with that universal rhythm of nature.  How’s that for bringing some ambiance to a room?

There certainly are many more ways clocks can be used  than what’s discussed in this article.

Have you any ideas to add?  Please tell us about them!

 

Photo Credits:

Photo #1 –  Hermle Porcelain Mantel Clock with Flowers

Photo #2 – Hermle Mahogany Mantel Clock

Photo #3 – Four Clocks Over Fireplace -Pinterest.com

Photo #4- Clock Gallery On Brick Wall – mastenonline.blogspot.com

Photo #5 –Time Zone Gallery – houseofchicandpenoche.blogspot.ca

Photo # 6 – Dining Room – placesinthehome.com

Photo # 7 – Hermle Wall Clock with Oranges

Photo #8 – Hermle Wrought Iron Wall Clock

Photo #9 – Rombach and Haas Wall Clock with Rock Weight

Photo #10 – Mantel Clock Next To Books – raisingmightyarrows.net

Photo #11 – Large Wall Clock Over Fireplace – traditionalhome.com

3 Photos – Grandfather Clocks – traditional home.com

2 Photos – Garden Clocks – gardenornamentsdirect.com

Last Photo – Anton Schneider Cuckoo Clock

 

Clocks For Christmas – Your Timely Holiday Shopping Guide

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Clocks can make wonderful Christmas gifts for your family. In addition to their charming aesthetics and captivating movement, clocks can also represent the timelessness of family bonds.

If you’re looking for a gift that’s just right for Christmas, consider one of the following timepieces, selected to fit the personalities of your family.

For Mom or Grandma

blog-Hub-Her#2-1313Trying to find the perfect gift for the mothers and grandmothers in our lives takes special attention. Blog-Romba#2-ChristmasWe’ve selected two beautiful German clocks:  a Huber Herr (left) and a Rombach and Haas (right) that may be just right. Both clocks are in a hand painted chalet style that will help define any room they adorn.

 

For Dad

Anton-Schneider-Cuckoo-Clock-8TMT 2653-9Dad will love opening this traditionally styled Anton Schneider cuckoo clock on Christmas day. With scenes inspired by the German wilderness including hand-carved wooden bears and pine trees, this clock will add personality to dad’s office or study.

 

For GrampaBLOG-#2Amhurst-01153-I91161

BLOG-Hermle-Grandfather-01208_N91152_289x433It may seem too obvious, but we couldn’t resist suggesting a grandfather clock for grampa. And why not? A grandfather clock is traditional, powerful and a symbol of respect. Just like your grampa! This particular piece by Hermle is a dark cherry with many decorative flourishes. This clock will quickly become something your grandfather can be proud of.

 

For Daughters, Granddaughters & Nieces

BLOG-EngstlerThis brightly colored German clock by Engstler will be a delight to open on Christmas day! Featuring a swinging girl, and a friendly cuckoo call every hour, this clock will make a great Christmas gift for your daughter, granddaughter or niece.

 

For Sons, Grandsons & Nephews

BLOG-other-EngstlerThis Engstler carved cuckoo clock is a fun and affordable gift for your son, grandson or nephew this Christmas. With the movement and charm expected from a German cuckoo, the overall design remains muted and earthy. A great addition to a boy’s bedroom.

 

We hope this guide will help you select the perfect Christmas gifts for your loved ones. You can also view more timepieces on our website.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

BLOG-#2wreath-frontgate-firstone

Photo Credit/ Wreath: www.frontgate.com

5 Good Reasons Why Clock Enthusiasts Are Enthusiastic

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BLOG#2rh8367_289x433Ah, the difference between a digital clock and an analog clock. Where are the animated dancers, the finely crafted wood carvings, the deep sonorous gongs and the dumpling eaters? Think about it. They’re seen and heard on the analog clocks. I’d rather get the time from a beautiful grandfather clock or a charming cuckoo clock than from the digital icon on my computer screen or iPad. Wouldn’t you? Maybe you’ve been thinking about getting a clock, but aren’t convinced yet that it’s a good idea.

Here are 5 reasons why clock enthusiasts are enthusiastic:

1. Tradition

Blog-tradition-polls_tradition_2258_517561_pollYes, analog clocks are passed down from generation to generation bringing with them their family history and the warmth of relationships. And, by the way, clock lovers, who have sometimes lost their family treasure, will purchase a clock today that is just like what their grandmother had. That reconnects them to their family heritage in a deep and personal way. And what if there isn’t a family heirloom to be passed down? You could start one today. It will be an heirloom in the making. Think of your children and their children who will remember you and enjoy the beauty of the clock you got started.

2. Decoration

BLOG-Hermle0803RoomSceneThis can be anything from filling that large wall with a chic over-sized clock or grouping a selection of smaller clocks to create a center of attention. Like a painting, a clock will beautify your decor. They’re works of art. You can bet they’ll add warmth, atmosphere and charm to your home. They’re versatile too, whether traditional or modern, large or small, for the table top or fireplace mantel, clocks bring movement and mirth to the air.

3. Relationship

BLOG#3relationship-300x225Here is where the fun is. Did you know how musical and moving a clock is? They’re almost like kinetic sculptures that you can interact with daily. They engage your senses and can fill your spirit. Listen to their sounds, feel the clicking in your fingers and hands as you wind them and admire the visual artistry of their craftsmanship. With their ticking, chiming, cuckoo-ing and swinging, they become a part of the hum of your home.

4. Expression

BLOG-#2-PaintBrushesWhat is your unique personality? Clocks let you express it with their variety of colors, shapes, textures, and sounds. There are fun clocks, bold clocks, stylish clocks, classic clocks, unusual clocks, chic and over-sized clocks–all with their own flavor and character.

 5. Conversation

BLOG-conversation#2-indexHaving friends or relatives over? The winsome characters, hand painting and woodwork, deep sonorous gongs and the intricate brass mechanisms seen through a clear casing, have been known to open many a conversation over a glass of sherry before the ring of the dinner bell, or with a cup of mint tea at dessert.

Convinced yet why clock enthusiasts are enthusiastic about clocks? If not, ask any clock lover and they’ll tell you–or even better, they’ll show you. And you just might catch the enthusiasm.

Photo Credits:

Cuckoo Clock: northcoastimports.com

Room Scene: hermleclock.com

Paint brushes: http://inspired2act.com