Maarten Baas Debuts Cartoonish Clay Clocks

Maarten Baas Debuts Cartoonish Clay Clocks


Dutch designer Maarten Baas has expanded on his iconic Clay series with a collection of limited-edition clocks,which each tell the time through moving faces drawn by children.

Baas’ Children’s Clocks were unveiled this week at the Carpenters Workshop Gallery in LA, as part of a wider exhibition titled “Play Time”. The new pieces exemplify the designer’s longstanding affinity with childlike creativity and see cartoon-like forms take on useful purposes.

As well as building on his “Clay” series, the pieces mirror ideas used for Baas’ “Real Time” clock pieces, in which the designer seeks to mark the passing of time in methods beyond the traditional ticking hands, using videography. “Baas has consistently sought to reverse the natural flow of time and rekindle the wonder of childhood within an adult environment,” the gallery says. “This magical element is expressed through artworks centered around playfulness and purposely naïve shapes, resulting in a childlike signature style that has made his art instantly recognizable and iconic.”

Made from handcrafted stainless steel casing, and overlayed in clay coated in a silk gloss finish, the clocks are available in a limited edition of 101 pieces, each in a unique color. To create the clock face, which is displayed via a small screen, the designer asked 720 children to each contribute a drawing of the hands of a clock at a specific time. When edited together, the drawings tell the time across 720 minutes – equivalent to 12 hours.

“As an adult, you develop a lot of qualities,” Baas says, “but hardly anyone can make a nice drawing. Yet, every child makes the best drawings time and time again. Their purity and originality are often better than any respected artist. That’s why I’ve always been interested in artworks of Dadaism and Art-Brut.”

Maarten Baas: Play Time is on show at Carpenters Workshop Gallery LA until May 13. For more design, check out the first permanent store of the Italian design brand Vero.
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