The one purpose of design is to give a pleasing appearance to the objects that surround us, and if one purpose of art is to interpret reality in new and provocative ways, then the argument of what is art and what is design is taken to another plateau by the fanciful clocks created by New Mexico artist Anne Englehardt.

Built around a battery-run mechanism, each clock interprets a relationship between time, design and art. On some of these timepieces, architectural touches such as columns and balls are softened by romantic hindsight, evoked by painted-moon faces or spatter-painted faux finishes. Others are bolder, juxtaposing the image of a gaily dancing alphabet with scattered ampersands. Still others take the leap into a disarming mindless polka-dot limbo that hovers in the subconscious between Dogpatch and haute couture 1990.

Available locally from Craft Concepts in Green Spring Station, the clocks range in price from $100 to $140.

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