Benja and her Great Big Clock

Tick-tock-tick-tock. I spy a clock.

Behind the clock, I spy a doll.


Shy, introverted, reserved, contemplative, perfectly happy to immerse herself in a problem so deeply that she may not even notice what time of day it is, despite the fact that her very responsibility lies in keeping that time clock ticking away.

Behind the scenes.




Benja has a clock and she is caretaker of her clock. It's not an easy job being caretaker. One must be resilient, patient, precise, nimble, and constantly present. Benja would have it no other way. She loves her clock. Her clock is high maintenance, that one. This is a clock that needs to be wound, round the clock (no pun intended). This clock has very low tolerance for imprecision. So precise it is that a penny slipped under it's winder has the effect of minutely adjusting the time by milli-seconds per day.

When the winding is neglected at all, the clock eventually dies. And that would make for a very very sad Benja. So, Benja is ever-present, entirely devoted and whole-heartedly spends her day taking care of her clock.

The creation of Benja and her clock was inspired by Big Ben and the clock that lives at the Palace of Westminster, London. I am enthralled by this magnificent piece of engineering's beauty, grace, near perfect precision, and brilliant design. Here's a fascinating article written in October of 2013 about the process of fine-tuning Big Ben's clock. And if you're even more interested, here's a fun fact article about the bell and it's clock.

Benja is a Wee-Bee Mini Elfcup doll. She stands less than 6" (15 cm) tall. She is made with all natural materials. Her doll skin is made with premium quality cotton interlock imported from Europe. She is firmly stuffed with bio-wool made in Oregon.  Her seams are sewn twice for reinforcement.  Her locks are made of mohair yarn tied into a single braid.  She has embroidered facial features. Her facial structure is sculpted giving her a sweet little face with an itty-bitty chin, round chubby cheeks and deeper set eyes. Her cheeks, nose and various body parts are blushed with red beeswax.  She is a sitting doll with sewn joints that are made flexible for easy movement and changing of clothes.  But, with some posing, she is also able to stand very stable. She also has a belly button and a bum.

Benja comes readily dressed for warm or mildly chilly days. Her vest is hand knit with 100% suri alpaca yarn done up reversed stockinette stitch style to give a warm fuzzy feeling to the fiber. Her top is crocheted with a mohair-silk blended yarn and sewn onto a floral cotton fabric. The back fully opens with nickel-plated hood and eye snaps. Her trousers are made from 100% cotton and decorated with a sweet elastic lace trim. Benja's hat is made from pre-washed, clean repurposed 100% cashmere. Her boots are hand knit with 100% suri alpaca yarn.

Benja's clock is a piece of work. this is where I take pause to go get some chocolate....concentration food, you know.

The design of this decorative clock took what seemed like an engineering feat in itself....the calculating, the drawing, sketching, scrapping, measuring, planning, manipulating, detailing, scrapping again, then redoing until all the stars aligned. Whew!

So, here she is. Benja's clock is made from a thick cotton fabric lined with extra stiff interface so that she stands tall and strong. She is stuffed with 100% wool. Her face is embroidered on a neutral-colored linen fabric. The artwork is hand embroidered with high quality 100% cotton floss. The art design of the gears was sketched and drawn by me and then transferred to the fabric for embroidering. By the way, if you're interested in learning how to hand embroider, check out Sublime Stitching by Jenny Hart. There are simple and clear step-by-step pictorial tutorials by Jenny. This is where I learned how to do some basic embroidery stitches. This was my first embroidery project and I found it so relaxing and enjoyable.

The clock was designed with a fun crankshaft that actually does rotate manually to control the movement of the clock hand. The crankshaft and hand are attached by a small magnet sewn inside the two pieces. This was designed for practical purposes of assembly and packaging for shipping. 

Benja's clock measures approximately 16 in. (41 cm) at the base, 10 in. (25 cm) tall and 1 in. (3 cm) thick.

Benja is recommended for ages 5+ due to the nature of her delicate design. The small parts on her and the magnetized items may pose as a hazard for children who still enjoy exploring with their mouths and the clothing closures require manipulation by hands that are adept at extra fine motor skills and can handle small parts with ease. If you are interested in giving Benja a home, she is now available in the Etsy shop.