An introduction to clock making with Dale Sardeson and Tim Hughes

Ref: S4D09867


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About this course

Starting with the design and calculation of individual clock components, use hand tools and participate in practical demonstrations of machine tools. This course could be a precursor to the diploma programme.

Course Description

Delve into the processes used in clock making. Starting with the design and calculation of individual components of the clock, you use hand tools and participate in practical demonstrations of machine tools. This course can be seen as a precursor to the College's diploma programme.

In this introductory course those interested in how to start clock making, will cover many aspects of the clock making process resulting in the manufacture of a working escapement model to take home. The course begins with an overview of the history of clock making and the future development of making clocks.

Following the initial overall design and calculation of individual components, you can expect to participate in practical demonstrations and the application of hand-skills, together with the operation of machine tools. The course is based in the College's specialist clocks workshop.

The course aims to promote an enthusiasm for creativity, and the concept and development of three-dimensional dynamic objects.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • All materials required to make your escapement model.

What students need to bring

  • Please wear sensible clothes, apron or a workshop coat, and sturdy covered footwear to wear in workshop (essential).
  • Hand tools for metal work if you have them.
  • A calculator.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • General art materials, steel ruler, pencils for geometry, protractor.
Please note: All students will be provided with standard safety spectacles, so if you wear prescription glasses you may want to consider buying your own safety prescription glasses, as you must wear safety glasses when using machine tools. Be prepared to work into the evening, if necessary.


Dale Sardeson

Dale Sardeson is a professional clockmaker and conservator based in West Sussex. He has a passion for traditional craft and modern materials science, and his practice fuses these two disciplines.

Tim Hughes

Subject Tutor, Clocks (and Related Objects)

Tim Hughes MBHI, clock maker, trained at West Dean College and works as a clockmaker and scientific instrument restorer, and as external consultant at Bellmans Auctioneers. He has received several awards, including the Trustees' Prize while at West Dean College and a QEST Scholarship. 


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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