The Ghost Clock

This Clock Has Been Covered With A Sheet Since 1985. There’s An Amazing Reason Why.

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It is currently housed in the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

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It is almost completely covered.

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The draping sheet is corded tightly around the middle.

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But…there is no sheet. The “clock” is carved from a single block of wood.

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It’s a piece called Ghost Clock by American furniture builder and artist Wendell Castle.

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At first glance, Ghost Clock appears to be a grandfather clock hidden by a large white sheet tied with a rope. A closer look, however, reveals a masterful deception: this entire sculpture was hand-carved from a single block of laminated mahogany. With meticulous detail, Castle re-created in wood the contours of soft, supple cloth, then completed the illusion by bleaching the “drapery” white and staining the base of the “clock” a walnut brown. This work is the last in a series of thirteen clocks the artist created in the 1980s; unlike the others, it lacks an inner mechanism. Its haunting stillness and silence suggest eternity-the absence of time.

I still can’t believe the craftsmanship here. A single block of wood…carved to look like cloth. If you found this as startling as we did, please share this with your friends.

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