Tick-Tock, Wrote This Art Student’s Clock
This timepiece is pretty amazing. Hand-carved from wood, with almost 500 moving parts, this wooden clock that writes was actually a school thesis project. As brilliant students often discover, professors don’t always ‘get it’ when approached with a novel project. In this case, the student was Suzuki Kango who is a senior at the Tohoku University of Art and Design.
The clock, or “plock” as he dubbed it, is unique in that it tells the viewer the time by actually writing it down for you.
Watch the video from his Twitter feed below. Give it just a few seconds and you will see the magic happen as the time changes from “06:19 to 06:20”.
How did the device come by the name ‘Plock’? By combing the English words ‘plot’ and ‘clock’…perfectly logically since the device plots the time! BTW, it is also called kakitokei in Japanese (‘writing clock’.)
This piece involved a lot of creativity, design and engineering skill to make. And a lot of time with a coping saw and sandpaper! Each piece is made by hand, one at a time.
Suzuki formed the concept in April of 2015 and spent until August on making prototype writing structures, and then until October creating the design blueprints. Afterwards, it was everyday except Sunday, 8am-9pm using a coping saw and sandpaper on plywood to create each part by hand – a process he describes as mind-numbing.
The time between concept and finished product is something that so many sculptors can relate to. The amount of time in the finishing stages with sand paper or other smoothing instruments is often not an artist’s favorite, but taking that time can be what sets apart a masterpiece from a so-so result. Mind-numbing as it may be, it is an essential step in the process. For the wooden clock that writes, it was essential for the appearance and function due to friction in the gears caused by the wood.
This young artist’s idea was to create something that would shift the viewer’s paradigm. We think he accomplished that.
“It is easy for a person to write, but how difficult is it to make a machine do it?” Suzuki says of his concept behind the project. “Expressing the time by writing out the numbers would allow people a different sense of the time than they have previously experienced,” he said.
Will we be seeing a wooden clock that writes in Bed, Bath and Beyond? Probably not. But, the designs might be translated and cast into metal for smaller table top versions. Then, who knows?
In the meantime, this art student is now hoping to work in the CAD field. We suspect he has lots of unique sculptural ideas in his future!
Thanks to A Blog to Watch for the original article
Photo courtesy of Tohoku University of Art and Design blog
Video and Gears photo courtesy of Suzuki Kango (Twitter: @BellTreeNursing)
Bottom photo courtesy of Natukusa