Many early years of beachcombing and coastal walks in Highland Scotland resulted in literally a shedfull of shells, pebbles, driftwood and other interesting bits n bobs which inevitably spilled into the house. In 1993, Jeni made a sea themed box pendulum clock and the original driftwood clock as a practical use for the collection.  After much admiration of the clocks by friends and family, we sold our first designs at a craft and design fair in Nairn in 1995 and ‘Gaia Designs’ was born.  

  Three true births later, Jeni’s mountain guide husband, Andy, began as a ‘useful employee’, helping out the then full time mum during busy times. Today, we have three new ‘helpers’ who, it has to be said, enjoy the collecting more than other aspects of the business! We are now Jeni, Andy, Calum, Eadan and Duncan.

     End of a Collecting Day

 All our natural materials are collected locally in Wester Ross, Sutherland, Caithness and the Western Isles of Lewis and Harris. Using our Canadian canoes, we are able to explore isolated nooks and crannies along the shoreline to collect the best of the weathered driftwood, shells and stones.  Our mountaineering experience allows us to safely visit remote mountain sites to gather the Caledonian wood. 

  Winter View from our Workshop
   The inspiration and artwork starts at home in our garden workshop overlooking the sea, where, influenced by our loch and mountain landscape, we ponder over the best way to use each piece to create a unique, pleasing and practical feature. We sometimes use water based wood stain, wood oils such as Danish oil and wood wax to compliment and enhance the design. 


Please feel free to ask about the history of each design




    Based on many years experience, we believe that we have sourced the most reliable materials and quartz clock mechanisms for our designs.  In fact, the first two clocks Jeni ever made in 1993 still have the original mechanisms, hands and features. Although we do not offer a formal guarantee, we will always try to help out with any problems that may occur with your design. For example, a clock may be knocked or dropped and stop working, so contact us to discuss the problem; you might need to send it to us and we will try to fix it.  There may be a small fee for replacement parts and work carried out. Similarly our natural jewelry is sold with a promise to try to repair any legitimate damage or breakage.

   Below, we offer some simple tips for maintenance of your design so you can enjoy it for years to come.

   Hanging the Design

 The simplest method is to use a 1’’ (2.5cm) panel pin (with a slight angle into the wall), or a stronger picture hook pin with a lipped head.  A picture hook will keep cord from slipping off a simple pin.  However, hooks are not be suitable for pendulum clocks.  For heavy designs, for example large mirrors or theme frames, a heavy duty hook or nail will be required.  Clock mechanisms have a dedicated eye for hanging, found on its top edge. Make sure that the pin or hook is located centrally through the eye to ensure that the clock hangs straight. Some clocks and most other designs have a cord to hang from. Move the cord along the hanger to find the correct hanging position for the design.



Our clock mechanisms require a AA battery, which is usually supplied when you buy, except clocks delivered by post. Every clock is tested before it is ready for sale.  We check that the clock hangs correctly and for at least 24 hrs running time to check the mechanism, check for free movement of the hands/finger and check that the pendulum swings correctly.  Always move the hands by using the adjustment wheel on the mechanism, not by pushing on the hands; they will bend.  However, if necessary the second finger may be gently moved by hand. 

If for some reason your clock stops working, try the following:


 1        Check the battery, is it located properly or has it run out of power? 

Batteries will inevitably run out of juice! Assuming it is not obstructed, a ‘twitching’ second finger indicates that the battery is in its death throes. A slowing pendulum may also signify a dying battery.                    

2        Check that the hands/finger have free movement

The clock hands and fingers are quite fragile and can easily bend. Before you hang the clock, check that the hands/finger are not obstructed by moving them at least one revolution (12 hrs). If their movement is obstructed (the obstruction may be the other hand for example), carefully bend the hands/finger just enough to free the obstruction.


3        The pendulum has stopped!

Check the battery. The pendulum swings on a battery powered magnet and is purely for show; the pendulum does not drive the clock. Check that the swing is not obstructed.  If it is, tilt the clock forward or back on its hanging pin to free the pendulum from the obstruction.  The tilt may also be adjusted by using the stabilising screws on the reverse of some clocks.  Be careful not to screw in too far in case they protrude through the front of the clock!  Gently push the pendulum to start the swing. Do not have the pendulum rod too far from the magnet in the back of the mechanism or the magnetic field will be weak and may not be strong enough swing the pendulum.  


4        The pendulum is not swinging correctly!

Some pendulums barely swing whilst others look like they may swing the clock off the wall!  The strength of the swing varies depending on the weight of the bob, the length of the rod, the battery power, the type of material used for the rod and the distance of the pendulum from the magnet. If it has an unstable ‘wobbling’ swing, assuming that the swing is not obstructed, check that the hook on the pendulum rod is correctly located in the eye of the pendulum mechanism. Also, a clock hung in a breezy or draughty location may affect the swing of the pendulum.


  If you have tried all the recommended tips and the clock isn’t working correctly, get in touch and we will discuss the options.                                              


If you have tried all the recommended tips and the clock isn’t working correctly, get in touch and we will discuss the options.        


   Oiled and Waxed Wood

 We believe that wood should be allowed to ‘breathe’, naturally adapting to ambient temperatures and humidity.  For example, wood will expand in a high humidity environment and shrink in a warm dry atmosphere.  Therefore, we only use an oil (Tung oil or Danish oil) or a beeswax based wood wax to enhance some of our designs, where it is absorbed into but does not seal the wood. We do not use varnish, polish or other wood sealant for our designs. The lustre created by the oil and/or wax will fade naturally, so the occasional re-oiling or waxing will bring it back if you so wish.


   Outside Designs 

Most of our designs are organic and naturally belong outside.  We encourage you to have your designs outside and allow natural weathering to take place. Watch it change over the years! Obviously, some of our designs are less suitable to be outside unprotected from the elements, particularly ones that are mains or battery operated!




We are members of and/or support the following organisations and would encourage you to have a look;  


 Marine Conservation Society, Scotland               www.mcsuk.org/scotland

Reforesting Scotland                                        www.reforestingscotland.org 

Royal Society for the Prorection of Bird               www.rspb.org.uk/scotland 

Friends of the Earth SCotland                            www.foe-scotland.org.uk

Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust                    www.hwdt.org 

Royal National Lifeboat Institution                       www.rnli.org


   Other recommended links; 

3d2DCraft and Design                                       www.3d2d.co.uk 

North West Outdoors, Ullapool                           www.northwestoutdoors.co.uk 

Weather Forecast – Ullapool area                       www.bbc.co.uk/weather/2635199

Tidal Forecast – North West Scotland                  www.bbc.co.uk/coast_and_sea/tide_tables 





Jeni Cunningham                 email – jeni@gaia-designs.co.uk   

Fraser House                      Tel – 01854 612429

7 West Shore Street            Mob - 07519573967

Ullapool, IV26 2UR              

Scotland, UK


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