Testosterone Clock


14"w x 14"h x 8"d
Wood, Metal, Stone, Electronics

“The Testosterone Clock” is one woman’s view of male sexuality. One evening in a flash of creative insight, I saw the male sex drive as a ticking alarm clock, erection chasing flaccidity, like the big hand chasing the little hand, over and over again until the end of time.

To make the clock, I cut a section of a mesquite tree trunk and hollowed it on the lathe. Conceptually, I liked the connection of this piece to a tree,  so I left the bark on and added a living stem as a reference to the tree of life. Later the living stem became too labor-intensive to maintain in a gallery setting, so I replaced it with a silk-leaved substitute that made the same conceptual connection.

I carved toes for the two feet of the clock and turned bells out of bird’s-eye maple. For the ringer (it’s non functioning) I created a small stone-age club as an allusion to the continuity of the human race since ancient times. To the penile-shaped clock hands, I added a zigzag second hand with an eye at the end. The eye ties in with the feet and calls attention to the link between vision and the sex drive.

The clock is battery-driven with a separate wind-up mechanism that provides the ticking sound. Inside there is an electronic timer that beeps every 90 seconds, signaling the occurrence of a sexual thought in the average testosterone-driven person. The motion of the clock hands, the ticking and beeping of “The Testosterone Clock” were designed to be constant and persistent, just like our biologically-programmed “prime directive” to reproduce ourselves.

Like many of my other pieces, “The Testosterone Clock” has a definite sense of humor to it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

As shown in the Harry Wood Gallery as an entry in the Nathan Cummings Travel Award Competition, March 2003.

How it was made
Front and back parts.


Alarm Bells

Bird's eye maple gets turned into a pair of bells.
Using the parting tool to cut off the bell.
The finished bird's eye maple bells.
The Feet
Getting ready to carve the feet.
The Parts
Feet and hands nearly done.