Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sunburst Industrial clock

A feature of many a Mid Century Modern living room was a big clock that hung over the sofa or over the big wood record player/radio combo console.
Recently I found 50s clock influenced by the iconic Sunburst clock but in a smaller form. It's made of glass and metal....no plastic!

Here's that famous sunburst clock...by George Nelson's company for the Herman (later, the Howard) Miller company. It's available here as a reproduction!
In 1945 George Nelson produced a Herman Miller Catalog, a furniture firm that was looking to break with old traditional designs of furniture and home decor and embrace modern styles.
Some of the most famous home furnishings of the 20th century were designed by Ray and Charles Eames, Harry Bertoia, Isamu Noguchi, Donald Knorr and many more.

Builder and real estate developer Joseph Eichler brought Mid Century Modern architecture ("Eichler Homes") to Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay area, and on the east coast. They have huge walls of glass, lots of hard surfaces in concrete and wood, the shine of steel, and polished wood.

Perhaps the most Mid Century Modern town in the US is Palm Springs.......and they celebrate that each February with tours of iconic homes and gardens, screenings of documentary films on the history of mcm design and the designers, the manufacturing process, and the food and drink of the times.Music is a big part of creating the whole mood of the mid century experience and crooners like Frank Sinatra, moody cocktail music like Martin Denny's Tiki Kitsch, and of course, cool jazz of Miles Davis and Charlie Parker.
The style can include the smooth wood of Danish Modern, the shine of chrome and metals, and the softness of bright and bold fabrics. They way things are put together, the way of attaching one piece to another in a home, a radio, a chair, or a blender and decorative objects gives mcm style a touch of Industrial design also.

Just listed in my etsy shop
is this petite version of the Nelson sunburst. It has a touch of industrial with its materials of glass, aluminum and wood.

The heavy glass circle is edged in silver and has patina from over the years of time. The hands are bold triangles and it has a sleek sweeping second hand. All the hands are made of aluminum......a metal that was popular to use in all manner of home goods once WWII ended.

It's made by an East Coast clock company that dates to the late 1800s. William L Gilbert used to make wood mantel clocks as was the Victorian fashion, and as times changed, they added many styles to their repertoire.

The housing is metal, it has simple prong plug, and a handy hole on the back for a screw to hang it up.