At Always Victorian we have a common appreciation of beautiful clocks and specifically Victorian clocks. A range of clocks we particularly admire at the moment are the Antique Victorian Fretwork Clocks. These are beautifully intricate wooden clocks which come in styles that are suitable for the wall, mantle or table. Original Victorian antique fretwork clocks are rarities and thus very expensive. However we know that there are many artists out there who keep the craft alive by creating beautiful handmade reproductions. We support the dedication and skill of the many wood artists who devote the hundreds of man hours it requires to make each of these clocks, which are now available for all of us who would love to own one.
The popularity of antique reproductions
Handmade antique clock reproductions can be bought as pre-owned items or can be purchased new from existing stock designs or commissioned and made to a particular specification. Victorian reproductions are very popular and styles of clock include clock towers and étagère, wall and mantle clocks, mini grandfathers and grandfather clocks. Quality is the key to a good reproduction and period features must be appropriate and sympathetic to the piece and its time period.
An important part of this business is the aftermarket and services here include expert restoration, comprehensive repair and detailed refinishing of antique and reproduction pieces. The market is supplied by artists, carpenters and bespoke joiners who all have their own unique approach to clock making, style and expertise. The woodwork detail can be extremely intricate and the joinery and carpentry skills required for this type of work are of the highest calibre.
Creating the intricacy
Many of the most attractive Victorian clocks are adorned with Fretwork which is an intricate interwoven decorative design that can be made from either wood or metal depending on the clock type. Wood fretwork can be carved out manually with a fretsaw, jigsaw or coping saw or by an electrically operated scroll saw. Many of the most popular fretwork patterns are geometric or floral in design, however just about any intricate scene or picture can now be recreated in fretwork. Some of the existing scroll saw patterns date back 150 years or even further. These patterns would have taken hundreds of hours to design and develop by hand at that time. Nowadays, however, computer aided design has revolutionised fretwork design and laser cutters have revolutionised production methods.
Keeping it traditional
When it comes to the beautiful antique fretwork clock reproductions that we at Always Victorian admire so much, no hi-tech methods of design and production have been employed. Instead traditional or original designs are used and each piece of fretwork is individually hand crafted from the best of hardwoods using a fretsaw. The fabrication is kept as authentic as possible which means no nails are used and corners are mitred. As with all hand crafted items these fretwork clocks take very many man hours to design and fabricate. Depending on the size and intricacy of the clock, there can be 500 or more pieces of fretwork individually carved involving some 2000 cuts. It can take as much as 300 hours to create one clock like this but the finished article is well worth the effort as it is truly a work of art.
The remains of Hartwood Hospital, an 19th century psychiatric hospital with imposing twin clock towers, are the main feature of the village, even after its closure under the direction of the Lanarkshire Health Board in 1998. Like many other Victorian institutions in the area such as Gartloch Hospital, Stonyetts, Lennox Castle and Kirklands, the inception of the Community Care Act (1990) gave rise to a more community-based focus for long-term mental health care, and the consequent closure of long-term psychiatric hospitals.
The original hospital was overseen by Dr Archibald Campbell Clark, the medical superintendent, and was involved with the inception of modern psychiatric therapies such as occupational therapy, ECT and industrial involvement. In the hospital style of the time, Hartwood was entirely self-sustaining, with its own farm, gardens, reservoir, graveyard, staff houses, etc.
Music is Hammock – This Kind of Life Keeps Breaking Your Heart
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Hartwood Hospital 2011 HD – Urbex Derelict Explore Abandoned Scotland
Pictures located here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/borahorza/sets/72157627613849678/
Abandoned Hospital Psychiatric Hartwood HD – Urbex Derelict Explore Abandoned Scotland
The structure of the antique industry has been one consisting of many small firms that always seemed to be in competition with each other. The rationale behind the heightened levels of competition is that everyone wants to sell the best products at the best prices. This would seem to be at odds with the ambiance you will normally experience when you visit an antique dealer which could easily be described as overstated calmness.
Resistant to change
When you take account of the professionalism in the industry it seems strange that a charge broadly laid at the whole of the industry is it’s resistance to change. It is however a fact and indeed it has been a key factor in what has proven to be the demise of many excellent antique dealers and retailers over the years.
Financial difficulties which have been the result of a range of endemic factors faced by antique dealers have forced many antique dealers into bankruptcy. The economic downturn made it difficult for the smaller businesses and many had to borrow, take on additional debt and cut costs. Some managed and survived but others didn’t.
These commercial problems unfortunately for many became personal problems as a significant proportion of antique dealers were sole traders. This meant that business debts became personal debts and for some this resulted in insolvency. Some very good antique dealers found themselves having to enter into formal debt solutions such as an IVA or personal bankruptcy.
A change for the better
It’s fair to say that the industry has learned from its mistakes and experiences of the past. More businesses are embracing change and in particular using the internet to reach out to new customers and improve customer relationships. There are growing instances of collaborative ventures and whilst competition is still there it is not the same no holds barred approach previously seen. And so we move forward.