Clocks made of driftwood are a unique Christmas gift
By: Carrie A. Mizell
Robert Phillips enjoys the solitude that comes from combing the banks of the Suwannee and Santa Fe Rivers in search of driftwood to make each one of his uniquely created clocks.
Though it took Phillips nearly two years to hone his skill, the former drug addict and prison inmate, who served five years, said that doing woodwork prompted him to change the course of his life.
“It’s been a long road to hoe,” Phillips said. “I quit doing drugs and started doing woodwork.”
A Gainesville native, Phillips explained that while growing up on a chicken farm he never liked going to school and as a result got into trouble often, which led to his eventual incarceration.
After being released, Phillips said he made the decision to kick his drug habit, so he entered rehab.
“I always enjoyed working with my hands,” Phillips said. “And I got started building clocks after I found an old clock at a garage sale.”
His business has grown along with his skill as a woodworker over the last four years, and Phillips estimates that he has now sold over 100 clocks.
Ranging in style from Trenton Tigers and Florida Gators, to family photos and military recognition, the clocks can feature just about anything a customer wants. Phillips has obtained official licensing from the University of Florida to sell his Florida Gators clocks.
Though Phillips said he sells a large number of clocks out of the back of his SUV on Florida Gator game days, he would like to find more vendors willing to display his work.
Recently the Cracker Box in Trenton put several of his clocks on display. All are available for purchase.
Prices start at $30 and go from there.
“It’s really however much a person wants to spend,” Phillips said.
At press time, Phillips was anxiously awaiting the birth of a new baby.
The baby’s impending birth prompted Phillips to move his family out of their Gainesville apartment in May.
“We wanted to start our new family together somewhere other than the city,” Phillips said.
“Jennifer and I wanted to have a home and a yard that the kids could play in. We found that here in Trenton.”
For more information on Phillips’ clocks, call (352) 258-2250.