Randall Cleaver's work combines what has been discarded to create timekeeping artifacts. Their utility and motion involve the viewer in their complexity of forms, textures, relationships, and humor.
Creating with found objects started as an inexpensive way to obtain materials, but soon, the objects themselves became a source of inspiration. Cleaver tries to give his viewer the sense that the parts were manufactured to form the object, in order that the various parts transcend what they were.
The clocks, as a body of work, are a conglomerate of ideas Cleaver has had over the years: actual, as opposed to implied, motion; machine sounds emanating from the pieces; humor; functionality; the sense of history in timepieces; and the near obsession our society has for time.
The clocks also give an archetypal starting point with which to view his pieces. From there the viewers can work their way deeper into the works.
Cleaver's working style is intuitive. He starts with a germ of an idea or a particular found object that will suggest a piece, but as it grows, different relationships will be discovered and the form of the work will respond to these discoveries.
Randall Cleaver’s father was a huge packrat, always bringing home something he found at an auction, flea market or junk pile. Randall would make his own toys or adapt existing toys with the raw materials found in the basement and garage of his childhood home.
As a sculpture student it was a natural thing to scour salvage yards and rubbish piles for art supplies instead of buying new. This attitude of reuse and adapting existing parts still plays a major role in his clocks today.
Randall was born in Reading PA in 1959. He graduated from Penn State in 1981 with a BFA in sculpture. In 2007 he went through the clock repair program at the School of Horology. He spent twenty-five years living in Philadelphia and is now living in Takoma Park Maryland where he repairs old clocks as well as makes new ones.