Maker Stories

Making Time

August 13, 2011

Our first ever Uncommon Jewelry Challenge is underway, and we’ve received some outstanding entries so far. Although our current contest is only open to jewelry design, we’re always looking for great new product ideas and invite emerging designers to submit their work through our product submission app.

We love hearing that artists are excited about creating and sharing their work, so we couldn’t wait to feature Gregory Zeorlin’s guest post.

Gregory has spent over 25 years exhibiting his work, teaching and presenting lectures in museums and schools across the country. He believes art is a catalyst for conversation. Here, he provides a bit of insight into his own artistic process. We hope Gregory’s words of wisdom inspire aspiring designers and encourage artists like you!

I’ve been exhibiting art and keeping a studio for over 25 years. I’ve worked in a variety of ways during this time and call myself a “mixed media artist” when I have to apply a label to what I do. But I take many liberties under the category of mixed media artist and have made large sculptures (up to 30 feet wide), as well as art that fit inside my shirt pocket. I’ve used metal, clay, wood, paint, found objects, stone, dirt, ash, digital imagery and written poetry to make my ideas. I work both in 3-D and 2-D and mix these two ways of thinking together.

Making art, as well as viewing it, expands our understanding of the world. I am challenged and invigorated when I see artwork that is foreign to my way of thinking. Art in the broadest terms…from music, theater, opera, visual art and writing all become opportunities to encounter a world that is both familiar and foreign.

Experiencing art is not always a “larger than life” moment. (And if it was, wouldn’t we eventually become overwhelmed?) Art can linger along the edges of our routines offering perspectives that might initially go ignored. Regardless of the size or complexity of work of art, it can challenge us to see fresh, to examine our routines and honor the rituals of a full life.

A small clock can be one of those things that often go unnoticed as we go through our day. This is also what attracts me to making clocks–because they are so familiar to most people. I use a clock as an unexpected stage for expressing ideas. Once someone stops and looks at my clocks, they realize the content of the clock is much more than about tracking the time. While my clocks function and are accurate, my primary motive is not to become a clock maker.

My clocks express the familiar in unfamiliar ways. I use a clock face to present glimpses of the magic, logic, chaos and kindness that makes up our days. My clocks that are sold through UncommonGoods offer varying points of view about time. A ball of twine is made from the string of time. A silhouette cast over a flower bed becomes the presence of time passing. A black bird calls out for us to be aware of the moment. I want to make objects that attract the eye and challenge the mind to think about how we spend our time.

As Gregory mentioned, he believe that art forms are intertwined, and draws inspiration for his art from poetry and for poetry from art. Along with his guest post, Gregory also included the following poem.

Precise Time

An atomic clock over my kitchen sink
does everything to alert me to this moment.
It shows this is the perfect time
it says this afternoon is hot and sunny
that the pressure is holding steady
and the moon will slip away from view
leaving me right here to
confirm it is all true

This is the perfect time
with or without predictions
of rain or shine or pressure rising or falling
whether the moon is glowing
or even my not knowing
where that man hides in the night sky

I don’t ask why
the atomic clock is right
confirming this very moment
is the precise time to be alive.

©Gregory Zeorlin 9/7/2007 1:07pm

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  • Reply Indre Pemberton August 15, 2011 at 10:28 am

    We own several of Gregory’s clocks. They are unique pieces of art, and they keep you on time! Gregory combines fun, quirkiness, insight, memories, and poetry when creating his works – his clocks will always bring a smile to your face.

  • Reply Tina Marquez August 15, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    For my 50th birthday I would like to purchase one of my brother’s famous clocks. They look very interesting on the website.

  • Reply Lauri thomas August 26, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    I have Gregory’s “Hyper Rectangle” clock. It captures the essence of my daily workday in way that no one else can. I have the coordinating Ten Word Tin. My goal is to purchase the piece “pulse…pulse…pulse…pulse…” to complete this collection for my office. My advice: “surround yourself with Gregory’s art, you’ll enjoy it for years to come.”

  • Reply Diane Frossard September 14, 2011 at 10:11 am

    I have bought a number of Greg’s clocks for gifts as well as for myself. Sometimes I have ended up keeping a clock I bought as a gift because I liked it so well I couldn’t part with it. His clocks are unique pieces of art that look good individually on a wall or grouped together. They definitely make a statement.

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