Michael Koblic describes himself as a retired actor, cardiologist and currently a sundial maker to the gentry.
Only the last part is partially true: He will make a sundial for anyone who is interested. He has also recently branched into jewellery.
“I started making sundials around 1994 as a hobby,” he says. “Why, I don’t rightly know. Perhaps the combination of science and esthetics appealed to me. There are some glorious historical pieces and some more modern ones that inspired me.”
After he retired from practice in 2006 he decided to start making sundials more seriously.
“I learned a lot about metalwork through the university of Google, trial and error. I converted my garage into a machine shop. I have three lathes, a mill and a few other tools that make life so much easier. Over the years I have developed several techniques of my own which give my pieces a unique appearance.”
He started making full-size dials but after a chance encounter he tried his hand at miniatures which have become quite popular as indoor decorative or converstiaon pieces.
“I make a point of making them scientifically correct. They will tell time if correctly positioned. But I would not leave them outside. For that I make different pieces.”
Recently he decided to build on his skills and expand his range.
“My wife wanted a bolo tie, so I made one. I got some favourable comments and it kind of took off from there.”
He likes to use “upcycled” materials, brass and steel for his sundials, copper for the bolo ties. He uses patterns from a variety of sources, some he draws himself, some he generates on a computer. They are then etched. He uses different kinds of patinas to finish the products.
He did not stop at bolo ties. He produces a range of copper bracelets, some forged from twisted wire, some etched and textured from copper sheet. “People seemed to like the first few so I keep making them.”
Koblic’s work can be seen at the Impressions Gallery and at the Campbell River Gallery Christmas market as well as at the Comox Valley Art Gallery in Courtenay. Online you can view his work on Pinterest, Facebook (where he has two pages, under his name and “crquack”) and Etsy.com (crquack) where his items can be purchased.