Three Tall Clocks
1989, 1990, 1991


While the quality of playfulness is without a doubt present, it no way sabotages the sophistication of this body of work. A fluent knowledge of physics is essential to work such as Public Clock, a tall gravity-powered clock made from bicycle parts and oddly-matched weights. Margaret Shearin, Triad Style, Nov. 13, 1991.

Public Clock … substitutes a wire basket full of marbles for the lead weight. The gradual lowering of the basket powers not only a large pendulum, but also the knifelike metal hands on a clock face at the top of this structure that resemble an outdoor windmill. An electrically powered rewind device automatically raises the basket of marbles when it reaches the bottom of its path.
Tom Patterson, Winston-Salem Journal, Sunday, January 19, 1992.

Norman Tuck has made five large real-time clocks:
The first clock was the Conical Pendulum Clock from 1986 (archived seperately).

Norman’s second clock (shown here) was the Exploratorium Clock (20 ft. 6 in. high x 7’10” wide x 6’ deep), created in 1989 as an Artist-in-Residence project for the Exploratorium in San Francisco. It utilizes a verge (crown wheel) escapement mechanism, as first used in the 17th century.
It was induring the creation of this clock that Norman began using a wooden pendulum with a bowling ball as a pendulum bob, crease, brushed aluminum sheeting for hour and minute hands, and wire baskets filled with familiar objects as driving weights.
The Exploratorium Clock has been exhibited at The World Financial Center in New York (shown here), Canary Wharf in London, and Haifa, Israel as part of the Art from the Exploratorium traveling exhibition. This clock was on exhibit at the Exploratorium until their move in 2013 and is courrently in the possession of the Artist.

Norman's third large clock, the Mexicali Clock, was created for the Museo Sol Del Nino AC in Mexicali, Mexico. It utilized a double-six-legged gravity escapement, similar to that used in the London tower clock, Big Ben. Norman began experimenting with this escapement while creating the piece Timeless in 1983. The Mexicali Clock was delivered to Mexico in 1991.

The fourth of Tuck's clocks was the Mechanical Clock of 1991(archived seperately).

The fifth clock in the series is the Public Clock of 1991 (18’6” x 6’ x 6’). This clock also uses a double-six-legged gravity escapement, and is currently in the collection of the Artist.

The Public Clock is in the possession of the Artist, and has been exhibited at:
Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC. 1991.
City Gallery of Contemporary Art, Raleigh, NC. 1992.
Technorama Museum, Winterthur, Switzerland. 1993.
Art Machines, The Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA. 1994
Liberty Science Center, Jersey City, NJ. 1996
Inventure Place, Akron, OH. 1996
Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN. 1999.


Alchemy Slideshow

Some images by Ester Kutnick,© Exploratorium