• By Walkertown Branch
  • Posted Thursday, February 7, 2019

Handmade Wooden Clocks at Walkertown

An exhibit of wooden clocks handmade by professional woodworker Eddie Fitzgerald is on display through the end of February at the Walkertown Branch Library. Mr. Fitzgerald is also the director of woodworking at the Sawtooth School for Visual Art in Winston Salem. The clocks will are available for purchase. Can make a great gift! 25 percent of all clock sale proceeds will go to supporting the Friends of the Walkertown Library.

To learn more about the artist and his work, visit his website at www.ebfitzgerald.com.

Below is a transcript of an interview on Wednesday, Dec. 5 at the Walkertown Branch Library with Eddie Fitzgerald by Natalia Tuchina, Branch Manager.

Natalia Tuchina: What should people know behind this new exhibit of wooden clocks?

Eddie Fitzgerald: I've been a professional woodworker since 2000. I primarily build furniture, but I also like to build smaller crafts like clocks and turned items such as pens. I’m interested in anything that has to do with wood. I’m also the director of woodworking at the Sawtooth School for Visual Art in Winston Salem. I teach and run the program.

Tuchina: How many clocks are in the exhibition and what type of woods did you use?

Fitzgerald: Eight, made of cherry, mahogany, a wood called “butternut” which is a cousin of walnut, walnut, and pine so I have quite a variety.

Tuchina: Are they working clocks? What’s the challenge of making clocks from wood?

Fitzgerald: Yes, they are. The challenge is I like to use the wood itself as the clock face and not necessarily have just a paper or typical dial. I like to draw people in to pay a bit more attention to the clock and not just see what time it is.

Tuchina: How many clocks have you made?

Fitzgerald: I have no idea, but a lot. I’ve probably made close to a thousand pieces of furniture and the like as a professional woodworker.

Tuchina: How do you sell your pieces?

Fitzgerald: My website is www.ebfitzgerald.com. I also sell my work at the Sawtooth School for Visual Art, but I prefer to work directly with clients so I can get to know people. I like to build relationships other than just sell through galleries. My pieces here at Walkertown Library are also for sale.

Tuchina: Is it easier to create the wooden face of the clock or install the clock mechanics?

Fitzgerald: The clocks I have here are all quartz clocks and run off of batteries. When I make larger mechanical clocks, I definitely have to take into consideration wood movement and other things, but these are pretty simple to install.

Tuchina: How do you come up with the designs? Especially because all eight are completely different!

Fitzgerald: I have a pretty good imagination so it’s not too hard. I have one or two pieces here that are called “natural edge” pieces where you take off the bark and just let the piece be what it is. I have other ones like the walnut display shelf that are meant to be used to be display items while still being a clock.

Tuchina: What do you like the best about making clocks?

Fitzgerald: I like to make things with my hands. All these clocks are handmade, there’s almost no machine joinery. I made them and they’re personal to me.

Tuchina: How long did it take to make the largest clock at the show?

Fitzgerald: Twelve hours over a couple days.

Tuchina: Thank you, Eddie. We’ll enjoy your show over the next three months.

Fitzgerald: Thank you.

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