Collecting Articles and Features

The Unique and Creative Art of the The House of Rayne

WCN has been a fan of artist Colin Rayne for some time and in this feature we take a look at his varied and unique artefacts. Colin’s work ranges from traditional oil and watercolour paintings to incredible clocks, from sculpture to kinetic art, and from glass sculpture to large scale commissions.

Colin Rayne in his gallery
Colin Rayne in his gallery
Colin Rayne was interested in art from an early age winning prizes for art at school and he was frequently encouraged to copy ‘old master’ paintings. After school, Rayne served  an apprenticeship in his father’s dental equipment manufacturing company Norman Rayne Ltd which gave him experience in precision and cinematograph engineering which would serve him well in his creation and design of kinetic art and clocks.  Hence, ‘a seemingly unusual alliance’ of the arts and sciences, forms the basis of Rayne’s prolific and uniquely creative and prolific artistic life.colin rayne with scream

Colin had a number of successful exhibitions in London and led to many notable commissions. Early on in the mid 1960’s when Harold Wilson was premiere, London’s Post Office Tower was erected close to Norman Rayne Ltd where Colin was studying design drawing. Colin created an Illuminated Scale Model (1″:30′) of the building with rotating restaurant for the advertising department of P.O. Telecommunications. The resulting publicity, which included a live six minute interview on BBC TV, greatly encouraged him to work independently.

colin rayne telecom tower
Commission of an Illuminated Scale Model (1″:30′) of the building with rotating restaurant for the advertising department of P.O. Telecommunications

In 1983 he was elected a Member of The British Horological Institute and was invited to display two pieces of work in London’s Goldsmiths Hall in 1987. At WCN we believe that the combination of Colin’s art, innovation and engineering are portrayed best in his clocks and kinetic art. One of Colin’s most impressive pieces is the Stonehenge clock.

stonehenge clock by colin rayne

Stonehenge 2000 – Neolithic Time
The wall mounted sculpture recreates the most ancient relics of the Stonehenge monument, showing the stones as they would probably have looked when first built. An Arc of twelve ‘Sarcen’ stones in acrylic, light individually, to indicate the ‘hour’, and an ‘Oval’ of acrylic ‘lintel’ stones divided into sixty, indicate the minute. Time showing: 9.23.  The inner rings and the ‘Altar’ stone are cut from ‘Spotted Dolerite’ from the Presilli Hills of Wales. (The same location from which the actual monument’s stone was obtained). The clock’s circuitry is based upon 4.193mhz crystal, subdivided into minutes and hours. The 72 LEDs are driven from serial shaft registers; – ‘CMOS’ logic is used. The Stonehenge Horlogical Sculpture is available at £7,500.

Colin’s recent works include The Ancient of Days by William Blake inspired by a 10” x 8” print forbook illustration is one of eight, all slightly different. Colin says of the piece “I hope that Blake would be flattered by my tribute to him, were he with us today, and that my followers will find it of interest, and offer some stimulating thought!”

William Blake The Ancient of Days artwork by Colin Rayne
William Blake The Ancient of Days artwork by Colin Rayne


In 1983 Rayne moved from London to Brighton and in 2000 created a private gallery The House of Rayne, close to the South Downs which has on display a permanent show of approximately 100 artefacts.

the house of rayne gallery
The House Of Rayne Gallery

For more information including a virtual tour of the gallery visit and remember to see the kinetic art page which is of particular interest. The gallery can also be contacted by phone UK + 44.7870125991 and by email to [email protected]