Sunday, October 31, 2010

Interesting people: Roger Wood, the Mad Klockmaker

Back in late October I had the pleasure of visiting Roger Wood at his shop to make a few portraits as part of my interesting people series. Stepping into Roger's workshop where the creations that he dreams up and sells under the banner Klockwerks are made is like falling through the rabbit hole into some whimsical second dimension. The workspace is hard to accurately describe, with finished pieces filling the front window, a whole wall of clock faces to be considered in future projects, antique light bulbs and fixtures, boxes and containers of springs and other things you would never imagine to be associated with a clock of any kind (externally at least) spread throughout. A tour of the area turns up new wonders essentially everywhere, and a few steps through a woodshop leads to a washroom decorated (and still in the process, Roger tells me) in a steam punk aesthetic. Stepping through the back office brings you to the ‘hall of the greats’ – a large display of art decorating the stairwell. Step out the back door, again you experience another transformation – this time from extremely bustling Hamilton, Ontario street to peaceful garden. Some of the whimsical elements still apply here as well – there’s an old typewriter sitting to the right – it’s clearly been hit hard by age and the elements, but it doesn’t look out of place.

Hit the jump to keep reading, and for more images.

Just over 11 years ago Roger was a teacher at a private college in Toronto, Ontario, teaching construction engineering technology, drafting and math. He was also interested in sculpture. A few clocks were created and given away to friends; everything took off from here. He left his job as a teacher and started making clocks full time.

While I’m setting up my lights Roger is taking some time to hang some miscellaneous clocks from his ceiling – some with hourly chimes, some with swinging pendulums – he’s just playing, he tells me – something that is important for an artist to do. I couldn’t agree more, as essentially that is what I'm doing as well. Eventually a line of clocks will form across the width of the ceiling, with pendulums swinging out of time.

Roger is physically based in Ontario – most of his creations are sold south of the border, however, in shops and art galleries. There is a large selection of pieces in the front window for passers-by to behold – the workshop doesn’t double as a retail store though. Besides, a lot of people in the area just don’t get it, he tells me. 

As someone who has always had  a sort of infatuation with clocks and watches myself, I can certainly get it. In fact, Roger's work inspired me to give a go at my own 'exploding' clock. It's done now, and functions, but it just doesn't have the same interest factor as Roger's clocks do. Probably best to leave it to the master.

When Roger gets bored of clocks he works with old lights - some of his larger pieces incorporate both lights and clocks. A 100+ year old Edison bulb (still working) is fitted into an antique light fixture on a shelf against the clock face wall and numerous other light fixtures can be found throughout the shop.

Roger's creations, always unique, almost always involving something that could be considered antique, could simply be described as an reinterpretation of time.

If you'd like to see some of Roger's completed clocks, his favourites and some of those currently for sale, you can do so at I highly recommend having a look. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

yes TIME KEEPERS very recession proof career as how many of us are not obiged to acknowledge time in our lives, the saying as old as old man time says it all.
beautifull works , a chinese seismologist invented a pendulum clock activated by tremors to warn of earthquakes and showed the direction and severity of quake in 1000 A.D