One day Andria Alefhi looked at a PopTart box and thought "that would make a cool clock." And it did. Nowadays Andria makes clocks from postcards, book covers, coasters, and photos, as well as from the occasional canned meat container. But more on that later. She sells her everyday-object-into-functional-art clocks from the Etsy shop NewYorkClocks.
What interests Andria about clocks is not so much the mechanics, but the possibilities. Ordinary objects are transformed into something not only essential and functional, but pleasing. There's a resonance that happens from both the function of her clocks -- to mark time, to keep track of how a day passes -- and in the objects themselves and the memories they evoke through pop-culture references and familiarity.
Which makes sense, given that Andria was originally inspired by a clock that belonged to her mother and has become a treasured keepsake. It too marks time and memory in one object, an interest that is reflected in other aspects of her creative life. Andria writes at the blog Donuts at Home and produces a nonfiction and poetry zine We'll Never Have Paris, also available on Etsy.
You'll find Andria and her ordinary-yet-extraodinary clocks at The Holiday Handmade Cavalcade on Sunday, December 5 in New York City.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Its my birthday everyday and friends come with gifts and karaoke songs.
What is your greatest fear?
Do you have a theme song, and what is it?
I Dream of Jeannie.
What is the trait you most like in yourself?
What is the trait you most like in others?
What is your greatest extravagance?
When and where were you happiest?
I try for everyday. That being said, I just came back from a vacation, so I am in a pretty good mood right now.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I still have a boyfriend. Ha!
If you were to be reincarnated as a person, animal, or thing, what do you think you would be?
I would love to come back as a flapper from the 1920s.
What is your most treasured possession?
My apartment keys. I'm happy every time I need them to get inside and I haven’t lost them yet.
Which talent or skill would you most like to have?
What is it the one thing you dislike the most?
What is your motto?
It’s a free country.
Who are your favorite artists?
Ah, so many! I don’t know! Okay, I can say David Sedaris. He branded a new kind of writing that paved the way for a lot of people, including me. As for peers, my friend Lou Lasson is constantly improving her craft and designing new items. She puts me to shame.
Is there any invention you wish you had thought of?
Suitcase on wheels.
What's the oddest thing you've ever made into a clock?
A halal spam container. Instead of saying spam, it had Arabic writing and a drawing of a black cow.
What's the first thing you remember making?
Figurines from plasticine clay.
I like that I can eyeball a tea tin, or a cigar box, or a soap box, and know it will make a good clock. It kind of just happened, and now I am the clock lady. There aren't many of us.
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