A photo of one of my favourite possessions. They typeface is an experimental one designed by me called "Garden Folk", an eternal work in progress.Impending tl;dr obscure story coming up so be warned now.
I love coming across old wares and weird antiquey things, and generally if it's cheap and bizarre enough, I'll take it home with me. This clock was different though - it wasn't cheap.
I'd walked into a little antique store nestled amongst cafes and clothing stores. Looking around, most of the stuff inside was 50s/60s vintage, and had a very mod vibe about it. There was also a huge clock collection running down the wall. I looked at every single one, picked them up, gave them a feel. Clock speed dating.
Despite the huge diversity of styles, this one definitely stood out. That green was just so vibrant, and the hand designs and clock face so ornate and bold. It was like something straight out of Wonderland or a Ghibli film. I picked it up (I was surprised by its weight) and looked at the price: $250. Pity. I kind of only buy things that are under $30, as a general rule in life. Haha. I sadly put it back and kept walking around. The lady running the store must have noticed my extreme interest in everything, and the time I'd obviously been lurking in her store.
She started talking to me in an inquisitive manner and before long it was like she'd adopted me and was lecturing me about life, telling me tales of loss and regret, about eloping when she was too young, about how she still loves various people all around the world, about how important it was that I appreciate and make use of my youth and of being an artist. She told me I had a good heart. I learned that all the clocks belonged to a Chinese collector who lived in Germany before bringing them to Australia, and he donated them to her store when he went back to China. I gathered that she was 60-something years old, and migrated from Croatia when she was in her twenties. She and her family started with nothing.
All this was especially potent as I'd just spent the previous two days attending a design conference of esteemed individuals in the field, intended to inspire me as an artist/illustrator/designer/whatever. It was ok - I've been for the last 4 years - but more and more each year it feels like a bit of a wank, and I leave wondering if I'm on the right track. This lady had just provided more inspiration in less than an hour.
She knew I'd taken a particular interest in this clock, and offered it to me for $200. I knew she was genuine and wasn't just trying to make a sale the whole time. I decided to buy it, as it now had this experience attached to it. It sits on my desk, elevated, facing me as I work on whatever it is I'm working on, sending rays of otherworldly handmade inspiration.
This work is an accompaniment to another project that I'll post soon, but for now just enjoy the clock, The Emerald Time Keeper
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