New England Chapter No. 8 NAWCC

Saturday, May 22, 2004, 8:30 A.M. to 3:30 P.M.

Highlights by Mal Greene

Dave Deutermann, chapter president and Burt Kassap vice president welcomed more than fifty members that attended the day long workshop. An annual event now for 12 years. Frank Menez greeted participants and along with Harold Lincoln 2nd vice president made sure everyone got the handouts and a "hot cup of coffee". It was a damp, windy, chilly day more like March.

A special guest was Dr. Robinson, co-founder of the Museum. Other notables were Hugh Dugas and Fred Koved, past chapter presidents. John Stevens, museum curator also extended a welcome and invited all to a guided tour of the museum. Each area throughout the museum had a tour guide or a chapter member to discuss the horological treasures of the Willard's.

John Losch a chapter member who learned from those taught by the Willards and who has more than 50 years clock making experience presented a workshop titled: AMERICAN CLOCK ESCAPEMENTS; HOW THEY WORK AND HOW TO REPAIR THEM WHEN THEY DON'T. As always John kept everyone’s attention with his wit, talent and demonstrations. John is always a favorite.

Burt Kassap, v.p. and Larry Chelmow a past president shared the floor twice with superb presentations. One part detailing the technique of gilding with good leaf and another on case repairs; including flat and curved veneer repairs and replacement. The skill required is substantial for this art. Both brought great examples of their craft; "before" and "afters".

Mid day, a great variety of box lunches were provided for all. Coffee, snacks and beverages were available throughout the day.

Also a "special" thank you to those members who helped set up the seminar and helped behind the scenes with the logistics.

Hope to see you all next year! Oh yes, bring an umbrella, just in case!

-- Mal Greene

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Willard House & Clock Museum, 11 Willard St., North Grafton, MA 01536, 508-839-3500
See web site for directions.

We invite you to attend this year's one-day workshop at the Willard House & Clock Museum. The registration fee of $40.00 covers three excellent presentations, morning refreshments, a delicious box lunch, and access to the museum's fabulous collection of Willard Clocks. Space is limited, so please sign up promptly.

8:30 A.M. Registration and morning refreshments
9:00 A.M. Presentation by John Losch
10:30 A.M. Coffee break and snacks
10:45 A.M. Presentation by Burt Kassap and Larry Chelmow
12:15 P.M. Catered box lunch
1:00 P.M. Presentation by Burt Kassap and Larry Chelmow
2:30 P.M. Museum Tour John Stephens, Curator

This years' Willard House Workshop focuses on the special topics of repairing and adjusting American Clock Escapements, Gold Leaf Application (gilding) of American Clock Case Decorative Ornamentation, and Methods and Procedures of Wood Veneer Restorations to Clock Cases (including melted stick shellac) and Final Finishing. The three presenters (bio-sketches below) will discuss and demonstrate the various features of their topics.

The purpose of these introductory workshop presentations is to interest and inform the attendees of the basic fundamentals of these topics. Further pursuance will be required by interested attendees to improve their skills through subsequent study and practice programs available through the NAWCC resources.

9:00 A. M. AMERICAN CLOCK ESCAPEMENTS: How They Work, and How to Repair Them When They Don't.
Presenter: John Losch
John will Discuss and illustrate the most common of American clock escapements, the controlling factors for good performance, the relationships between the verge, the escape-wheel, the crutch, and impulse to the pendulum rod. He will further review and demonstrate repair procedures to correct malfunctions.

Presenters: Burt Kassap and Larry Chelmow
They will discuss and demonstrate the basics of water gilding and oil gilding, wood preparation, formulas for and mixing gesso, clay bole, leaf application and burnishing. Samples of the materials and clocks will be shown.

Presenters: Burt Kassap and Larry Chelmow
They will discuss and demonstrate repairs and restoration with various wood veneers and also demonstrate melted shellac stick blending and repairs for smaller damages to wood clock cases. Discussion will also cover restoring existing finishes by non-destructive techniques.

If you have never been to a Willard House Workshop And you are interested in the topics listed, this is an outstanding opportunity to hear from three exceptionally talented and skilled people in a setting that is “up close and personal.” The Willard House is in a beautiful rural area. You will also get to see a priceless collection of Willard clocks in the museum.


John Losch has been repairing clocks for over 50 years. He worked and trained at the Howard Clock (Products) Co., Waltham, Massachusetts, and studied with the late H. J. Olsen of Watertown who learned clockmaking in Roxbury and Boston from the men taught by the Willards. John was associated for 35 years with the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments at Harvard University as a restorer of clocks and early scientific apparatus. He has run his own clock and instrumentation business from 1954 to 1997, with a short interlude as an instructor at the NAWCC School or Horology. He now maintains a full working shop and performs specialized repairs and restoration upon request. John has been a frequent guest lecturer at Chapter 8 programs.

Burt Kassap has been repairing and restoring early American clocks for over 18 years. He has been a contributor to the NAWCC Bulletin, (Feb. 1994), entitled, Restoration of a Bronze Powder Looking Glass Clock. He holds an AWI Certified Clockmaker Certificate, and is currently First Vice President of Chapter 8. He has studied with professional gilders and wood restoration experts. He is a Civil Engineer, recently retired, with expertise in tunnels and underground foundations. He now devotes most of his time with clock restoration and Chapter 8 activities.

Larry Chelmow has been a member of the NAWCC since 1967. He is a past president of Chapter 8; president of Greater Boston Watch and Clock Collectors; and vice president of Massachusetts Watchmakers - Clockmakers Association; and a trustee of the Willard House and Museum. He collects, restores, and conserves early American Clocks. His work has included veneer repair and replacement; finish conservation and restoration; and gilding work. He attended the gilding course given by the North Bennet Street School in Boston. Larry is a retired industrial engineer with specialties in setting up quality systems; and product evaluation and testing. He is now doing his clock work full time.

Registration for 2004 Willard House Workshop

Registrations @ $40.00 each                        Total enclosed $______



City, State, Zip:___________________________________________


Mail by May 15 with check payable to "NAWCC Chapter 8" to Burt Kassap, 112 Bullough Park, Newtonville, MA 02460

Return to Ch 8's Home Page.

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