Rescue & Restore
In the days before the Industrial Revolution, even the smallest of watch parts were carefully hand-crafted for structure and balance, then hand-finished and configured with precision to mark time in their owner’s lives. “Just look at the individual layers of these pocket watches,” says artist Susan Beatrice. “There are engravings and hand-touches that were meant for the creator’s eyes only.” It is these working parts that Susan re-joins to create intricate sculptures, portraits, and whimsical art embraced by collectors and enthusiasts around the world.
“It all began with sculptures that included natural objects such as insect wings, snake skins, feathers and other delicate items that I then displayed inside antique pocket watch cases. Often when I collected the cases I would also receive loose parts and noticed that they were quite beautiful. I began incorporating them into my work and soon they became the main material in my designs. As soon as I showed people my initial watch parts creations the reaction was dramatic,” says Susan. “Clockpunk” was born.
While growing up in southern New Jersey, Susan was constantly out and about with her sketch book and art tools moving through the woods and across farmlands, carefully watching as nature worked her magic season after season. Her artistic talent grew into a career in commercial and fine art, working for a variety of major companies including The Franklin Mint, Disney, and Hasbro. Susan has worked on everything from Cabbage Patch Kids in the 1980s to a recent series of Harry Potter figures.
Time and nature is a running theme in her other art mediums leading to her work as a world-renown carver of pumpkins and sand sculpture. “Those are things that are gone in a matter of days,” says Susan. Her respect for time and nature have a more permanent status through her pieces created with gears and parts of non-working, sometimes corroded or damaged, pre-1850 pocket watches. “The time that it takes to create my sculptures allows me to think about who created and owned the parts before – it represents the people who have passed and who used the watches to keep track of their own time in their own time,” notes Susan. It can take months to create one of her sculptures from conception to completion, taking into account the initial sketches and gathering of parts. “My focus now is on creating highly-defined castings of some of my sculptures for people who may not be able to afford my originals but want to enjoy my work.” Susan makes the molds for each one herself and continually refines the work with the foundry to get as much detail as possible.
To see more of Susan’s intricate work, visit allnaturalarts.com
Clockpunk – It’s All In The Details