Rick Hale is an artist and clockmaker who designs and creates large-scale hardwood timepieces under the moniker Clockwright. Based in Michigan, his work explores and challenges the way people feel the passage of time in the post-industrial era. Each timepiece pays homage to the best clockmakers of the 18th century, especially his favourite clockmaker John Harrison. What’s truly impressive about Rick is that he’s completely self-taught, with most of what he knows coming from old books on mechanical engineering, clockmaking, physics and art.
The Clockwright timepieces are crafted from Michigan hardwoods, brass and stone over the course of about 400 hours. Rick combines the two ancient traditions of clockmaking and woodrighting into beautiful works of art that channel a classic aesthetic but are also unlike anything you have seen before.
Rick’s 3 newest designs for 2017-18 are not complete, but you can view his plans online. The new timepieces are The W1, a large-scale timepiece that hangs 5′ x 3.5′ on the wall. Made from the client’s choice among local hardwoods & several exotics, this piece will swing in seeming slow motion, gently ticking only once every two seconds.
Glass-housed, the L1 is a weight-driven mechanical table clock that features a lunar phase complication, indicating the current phase of the moon via a rotating globe made from ebony & holly. A brass bell gently chimes the full moon each month.
B1 is a hardwood timepiece built in homage to the work of Martin Burgess, the primary motive force behind Clock B. This piece will feature a Harrison remontoir, maintaining power, grasshopper escapement, & several giant hardwood gears with Lignum Vitae teeth. There’s currently one of each of the 3 new clocks still available for commission.