Friday, 5 December 2014

Recycled Mini-Album Pages–Clocks

This post is about the penultimate page of the mini-album, and deals with one of my dad’s most absorbing interests.

He was a keen and expert horologist. He collected many clocks during his life, and was a skilled clock repairer. Over the years he amassed a comprehensive set of tools for this purpose, including a watchmaker’s lathe to complement his larger engineering lathe. He was always sketching on scraps of paper – ideas for repairs, clock movements, etc. This album would not be complete without some pages on his passion for clocks.

I recently acquired a gearwheels stencil, an “ArtMask” from Carabelle Studio, called “Rouages Steampunk.” Strictly speaking, it is a mask rather than a stencil, because it is the background that is cut away. I tried to make a gearwheels stencil once, with the gearwheels, rather than the background, cut out, and it all fell apart and I ended up with a fine collection of acetate gearwheels! (I am using them as masks, and for sticking onto projects, so they are not wasted.) Anyway, in this case, I wanted the actual gearwheels to be gold, and the background to remain black, so I did a bit of reverse stencilling. To do this, I first painted the whole page with metallic gold acrylic paint, and while it was still wet, I laid the mask on top and secured it top and bottom with some masking tape. I then wiped away the gold paint through the holes in the mask. To start with I used a baby wipe, but this was too wet and it spoilt the design underneath, so I had to wipe off all the gold paint and start again. A piece of kitchen paper wasn’t sufficient for paint removal, so I took a fresh baby wipe and wrapped it in kitchen paper and used that, which was better. For the second page, I dried a fresh baby wipe slightly with my heat gun, and the results were fine.

131 Clocks Page Background

I am pleased with the metallic finish on this background.

The next step was to lay down some images as the next layer of background – a scanned image of a diagram of a clock escapement, and some photos of various clocks my dad repaired. I decided to fussy-cut the background away and lay them down so that the background would show through.

132 Fussy Cutting the Images for 1st Clocks Page

Here is the first clock page complete, with the addition of photos and embellishments, and the trademark white border. The images in this case were laid down with soft gloss gel medium, so as not to interfere with the reflective surface of the gold background. The clock face was a cut-out, which I had distressed and kept for another project – it had been in my stash for some time.

133 1st Clock Page Complete

The first photo I chose was of some clock parts my dad made from scratch, to replace some worn ones in a clock he was repairing. He would always try to reproduce as faithfully as possible any clock parts he replaced, to be in keeping with the period – for instance, adding metric threads, or modern gears in an antique clock would be an anachronism, which would have offended him, not to mention reducing the value of the clock. Next to this photo is a picture of my dad’s little repair notebook, packed with his tiny, almost illegible writing! (He was a doctor, after all…) In this book he kept a record of all the repairs he carried out on people’s clocks, and could refer back to this, the next time a clock became an inpatient in the clock hospital. At the bottom is a photo of a church clock movement he repaired.

134 Clocks Title Detail

In the above detail shot of the title, you can see one of the Friendly Plastic gearwheels I made several years ago, with added gilding wax and Glossy Accents (neither of which shows up very well on this photo). This was stuck down with Pinflair glue.

The next photo shows the second clock page with the photos added. A bit more of the gold gearwheels background is left exposed in this one, but there is a fussy-cut clock movement laid over the left-hand page. On the right hand page you can see a photo of one of Dad’s antique clocks – his oldest one, a 17th century Cromwellian clock that my grandfather picked up cheap in a sale “because it’s only got one hand,” when they were made with only one hand!

135 2nd Clock Page with Photos

With the addition of borders and some text, the page is complete. You can see the tag puller on the right – more details about the tag below.

136 2nd Clock Page Complete

A couple of detail shots of this page. First, the top of the page, showing the gearwheels border I created, and the blue-painted clock movement (another church clock that he repaired) overlaid.

137 2nd Clock Page Top Detail

At the bottom of the page are photos of two models of different types of clock escapement that Dad made from perspex. He used these on an overhead projector to illustrate the difference, during his lecture “The Clock Doc – or Horology in a Nutshell,” his presidential address at his local medical society. Typical of Dad, he spent many hours making these models, and they were up on the screen for only a few minutes. They are now in my possession.

138 2nd Clock Page Bottom Detail

Preparing to make the tag. You can see the semi-circular shape I have punched out, and the printed clock face image ready to be punched out with the same punch.

139 Making Clock Puller for Final Tag

The clock face tag puller attached to the tag.

140 Clock Puller for Final Tag Complete

The tag in situ, showing how the tag puller fits exactly into the semi-circular hole.

141 Tag with Clock Puller in Situ

Because the two pages glued together to form the tag holder came at the end of the clock section, the reverse of the tag is different. Here you can see the stamp I used – one from the Stamp Attack Butterfly Doodle Dallions set.

142 Materials for Flower Puller for Final Tag

I used some Cosmic Shimmer Lapis Cobalt Aurora fine embossing powder to stamp the image, and then three different Perfect Pearls (Plum, Kiwi and Turquoise) applied like watercolours to colour the image. After this I punched out the shape.

143 Making Flower Puller for Final Tag

To complete the tag puller, I distressed the edges with Black Soot distress ink.

144 Flower Puller for Final Tag

Here is the reverse of the tag, with the flower tag puller attached.

145 Flower Puller on Final Tag

This picture shows the tag in place, with the flower tag puller nesting into the semi-circular hole.

146 Tag with Flower Puller in Situ

The background and border on the clock side of the tag. I used an Artistic Stamper stamp for the background (“Cogs”), stamping with Versamark, and adding some Cappuccino Perfect Pearls with a soft brush.

147 Background and Border for Clock Tag

Here is the completed clock side of the tag, with some journaling with my white marker pen.

148 Clock Tag Complete

Here is the reverse side of the tag, completed. As this lines up with the final page of the book, I decided to make this one a summary of all my dad’s qualities and accomplishments as celebrated throughout the book.

149 Final Tag Complete

All that remains to be done on the book now is the final double-page spread, and then a couple of pages of information about how the book was constructed and embellished. If there is room, I shall add a couple of blank pages at the back for notes and further photos.


  1. More beautiful pages! I love the gears and wheels background you've made - and I was intrigued to read about your technique with baby wipes! It's been a wonderful and interesting artistic journey watching your book take shape, you have done an amazing job and I'm sure your niece will be thrilled with it.

  2. Wow! That's some album! Your dad was an amazing man! I read your other blogs too about what he did etc. Thank you for sharing


Thank you for your comments! They are much appreciated. Spammers, please be aware that I read and moderate ALL comments, and yours will be deleted before publication, so please don't bother!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...