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5 Minutes With… Bramwell Brown

Born out of a love of nostalgia and old clock mechanics, brother and sister Rob and Sarah created their first mechanically animated clock after a failed search to find a barometer for their homes, and Bramwell Brown began.

A wall clock and barometer combined, Rob and Sarah have worked with engineering experts and talented artist Peter McDermott to create a piece which displays the weather conditions through a series of visual displays within the clock face.

We caught up with them to find out a little bit more about Bramwell Brown and what inspires their work.

Bramwell Brown owners Rob and Sarah

Tell us a little bit about the history of Bramwell Brown.

So the idea of our current clocks began with Rob’s search for a barometer of his own several years ago. We grew up with a Dad who had old barometers and clocks on the walls at home and we always thought they were fascinating. It suddenly occurred to us that there was nothing on the market that was any more interesting than the old Aneroid barometers with their little air-pressure indicators. No one had redesigned the barometer in around 100 years and, unsurprisingly these held little appeal to a younger generation. Surely they could be made more inspiring!

So what started with a few hand drawn sketches of what a ‘Weather Clock’ might look like turned into cardboard prototypes, then more complex designs until finally we had some samples to show customers. The process took close to three years as the mechanics were really quite complex and plenty of testing was required!

Copper Mechanimated Clock

What inspires your work?

We think we’re blessed with a product that can produce some pretty interesting reactions from people. Many household objects these days are digital and when people see the clocks mechanically whirr round they can get pretty excited! It really takes people back to their childhood. Added to this and the feedback we get from families who tell us they follow their clock’s natural movements every day and that it’s really part of their family routine is lovely. So I guess we want to make more people smile and cherish their clock for years to come.

 

You’re siblings as well as business partners, how do you manage the work/life balance?

Things are certainly better since we moved from a more informal set up to our design studio Oxo Tower Wharf on the Southbank in London. As siblings we can usually help each other see the fun side of longer hours. We’ve also been really lucky to find some brilliantly supportive advisers to date. These people along with our ever-understanding family have helped relieve pressure when we’ve been flat out.

A mechanimated clock being created

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

[Sarah] A safari in Kenya! I love Africa in general but haven’t had the chance to go to East Africa yet. I was blown away by the safari I went on in South Africa.

[Rob] I’m super excited to go to Japan. I’m aiming to head out there for the Rugby World Cup but the country, whether going for a specific reason or not, just seems amazing in so many ways.

Finally, what is the one thing you can’t live without?

Well apart from relying heavily on each other….? We’d say our respective partners are pretty essential to our sanity and happy times. Oh and our mid-morning coffees!

The animated weather function in each clock

Click here to find about more about Bramwell Brown.

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