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Ceramic Clocks

George Nelson, 1953

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Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life around 1950. Everything seemed possible, and people strove to be 'modern'. With the aim of bringing modern design into American homes, George Nelson conceived a wide array of everyday objects: lamps, clocks and other domestic accessories. Up until the 1970s, the Nelson office created many different items for the home, including the Bubble Lamps and the Ball Clock, which became icons of mid-century modern design.

Photo: Midori, © Vitra Design Museum

The Ceramic Clocks combine geometric and organic shapes in a way that is both playful and sculptural, evoking associations with three-dimensional works by artists like Constantin Brancusi or Isamu Noguchi. For unknown reasons, the Ceramic Clocks were never produced in series, though designed and developed in full detail in the early 1950s.

Using the original plans and prototypes as a basis, Vitra has produced a new edition of the Ceramic Clocks in porcelain, finished in a variety of coloured glazes and equipped with a modern quartz movement. These cheerful table clocks are available in three versions.

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Instructions for usemultilingualPDF, 790.48KBDownload
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Production of Ceramic Clocks
This film shows the many different steps involved in the hand-crafted production of Ceramic Clocks by George Nelson – from casting to glazing and firing in the kiln, to assembling the movements and the packing of each clock.
This product was designed by
George Nelson
George Nelson is regarded as one of the most important figures in American design. Active as an architect, a product and exhibition designer and a writer, he was a leading voice in the discourse on design and architecture over several decades. Vitra is the sole authorised manufacturer of specified Nelson products for markets in Europe and the Middle East.
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