Clock making – introduction with Tim Hughes and Dale Sardeson

Clockmaking Automata, puppets and clocks

Ref: S4D12569

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About this course

Starting with the design and calculation of individual clock components, cover many aspects of the clock making process, resulting in the manufacture of a working escapement model to take home. This course could be a precursor to the Foundation Degree programme.

Course Description

Delve into the processes used in clock making. In this introductory course for those interested in how to start clock making, you will cover many aspects of the processes, 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. Then, starting with the design and calculation of individual components of the clock, you can expect to participate in practical demonstrations and the application of hand-skills, together with the operation of machine tools. It aims to promote an enthusiasm for creativity and the concept and development of three-dimensional, dynamic objects.

The course is based in West Dean College's Graduate Diploma in Clocks and Related Objects workshop, and it could be viewed as a precursor to the Foundation Degree in Clocks for those interested in applying to the Foundation Degree course.


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 until 9pm, 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

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

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. Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (no sandals or open toes).


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. 

Dale Sardeson

Dale Sardeson is a subject Tutor, Clocks (and Related Objects), professional clockmaker and conservator based in West Sussex. 


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

Courses of interest

Interested in a career in clock making?

Equip yourself with the practical and technical skills, the theory, principles and techniques used in historic horological manufacture on a Foundation Degree in Clocks. You will experience manufacture and repair, and work on historic objects, ready for a career in the trade or to set up as an independent maker or repairer. Find out more

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