The Portland tour of sundials included Colby Lamb’s Sundial and workshop, a patio sundial of Rob and Julie Brown that also served as a water sprinkler, a vertical mosaic dial at Stephenson Elementary School, the analemmatic sundial at Marylhurst University designed by John Schilke of NASS and Jan Dabrowski, and across the Willamette River to Reed College and a 1912 vertical sundial designed by Dr. F. L. Griffin. Then more sundials at the National History Site, Fort Vancouver, and ending with the Clark College Equatorial Sundial with a new analemmic gnomon. Roger Bailey outlined how he helped Soap Lake’s monumental sculpture become a summertime sundial. Bill Gottesman showed a realization of Fred Sawyer’s Horizontal Equant Dial that adjusts by simple rotation for the Equation of Time. And most interesting was Silvio Magnani’s presentation on an interactive reflecting heliochronometer in Milan, Italy. Read about this and much, much more by downloading the PDF.
At the 2006 NASS Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Fred Sawyer announced that the Sawyer Dialing Prize for 2006 is given to Hendrik Hollander, “for his innovative design of a mean-time planar sundial with oblique conical gnomon and modified hour lines and day curves – resulting in a sundial adapted to modern timekeeping while retaining the aesthetic appeal of the familiar dial face.” Fer J. de Vries was able to present the dial to Hendrik in The Netherlands.
One of Hendrik’s conical gnomon dials is on the cover of the September 2006 [Vol. 13, No. 3] issue of The Compendium. Inside that issue Hendrik explains in detail how the cone dial and a number of other bi-gnomon sundials work. In response to the Sawyer Dialing Prize Hendrik sent a letter of thanks to the NASS conference.
Don Snyder was a superb host for the St. Louis conference. He organized an interesting tour that included the Jefferson Barracks 1817 sundial (now part of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency), the angel holding a vertical sundial on the wall of the St. Louis University Hospital, and the several dials at the Jewel Box in Forest Park. At the Missouri History Museum, conferees saw the “Forgotten Sundial” designed by Thomas Jefferson. At Danforth Campus of Washington University was the 1908 Cupples Dial, and finally at the Missouri Botanical Gardens two dials were dedicated: Ron Rhinehart’s cross-gnomon equatorial and Roger Bailey’s “Ottoman Garden” sundial, based on Ibn Al-Shatir’s dial carved at the Great Mosque in Damascus in 1371. At the conference, the major talk was on the Cahokia Woodhenge, presented by Michael Friedlander, professor of physics and astronomy at Washington University.” And of course there were NASS speakers in abundance talking of dials, dialing scales, and new approaches to the Equation of Time.
In McLean, Virginia close to Washington, D.C. NASS held its 13th annual conference. At the Analemma Society’s site in Observatory Park, Tony Moss’ dial, the “Jamestown Commemorative Dial,” was dedicated in front of over 50 school children and twice as many adults. This is the first sundial installation in what is planned to be an International Sundial Garden. Other highlights of the sundial tour included the Lyman Briggs Memorial Dial at the National Institute of Science and Technology, the Latitude Observatory (once used to study the daily variation in the earth’s wobble and rotation rate), the Vernon Walker Education Center dial, and the vertical dial on the wall of Jack and Kate Aubert. The conference talks included Roger Bailey on “God’s Longitude and the Lost Colony,” Woody Sullivan’s “Ten Tons of Basalt and Tenths of Degrees,” Fred Sawyer’s discussion on the 17th century battle over the priority of inventing the stereographic quadrant dial, Kevin Karney’s “Variability in the Equation of Time” over geological epoch periods (well, for at least 500 years), and much more. Most impressive was Julian Chen’s “Omnidirectional Lens in Sundials and Solar Compasses” using spheres filled with solution of copper sulfate to focus the sunlight onto a dial.
At the 2004 NASS Conference in Tenafly, NJ, Fred Sawyer announced that the Sawyer Dialing Prize would go jointly to Bill Nye and Woodruff (Woody) Sullivan for their efforts to transform the Mars Rover Pancam calibration disk into a Martian sundial (with electronically placed hour lines) that could be viewed on the Internet. The award was a foregone conclusion at the inception of the prize some years ago, but awaited the success of the Mars Rover landings in 2004. [Photo Credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell] http://athena.cornell.edu/kids/sundial.html
Unfortunately neither Bill nor Woody was able to attend the conference, but a descriptive paper by Bill was read explaining the corresponding Earth Dial project (“Two Worlds, One Sun”), showing similar styled dials in Utah, Honduras, Ohio, Virginia, Chile, Canada, the UK, Spain, and even the South Pole. Download the PDF created by Nye Labs at revealing how to make a replica of the Mars Dial.
Fred noted that at the winner’s request, the cash prize will be used to thank and compensate Hilda Taylor, the undergraduate student volunteer who did most of the computer work for the Earth Dial project. Both Bill and Woody received a certificate and a Spectra Dial by Jim Tallman, with the signature motto of the prize and with a declination line for the date of their choice.http://www.artisanindustrials.com/world-of-sundials/spectra-sundial-seattle-2.html
Art meets science: John Carmichael held a workshop on DeltaCAD, a flexible computer aided design program for designing sundials and later in the conference with “Some New Sundials I” showed the result of such designs in beautiful stain glass sundials. From the history domain, Fred Sawyer told the story of Captain Sturmy, a 17th century mariner and author of “Gnomonical Scales,” now part of the Shadow Catchers series. Len Berggren discussed the sundials of Geminos of Rhodes in his text “Introduction to the Phenomena,” written about the first century BCE. Chuck Nafziger showed his light concentration sundial with Braille markings to show time-telling to the vision impaired, and Professor Woody Sullivan displayed a prototype of the One-World-Two-Suns Mars sundial. On the pavement of the parking lot, Brian Albinson drew out the split-analemma analemmatic sundial. See these sundials and more … download the PDF.
At the 2003 NASS Conference in Banff, Alberta Canada, Fred Sawyer presented the fourth Sawyer Dialing Prize to Helm Roberts for his design and construction of the Kentucky Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial. http://www.kyvietnammemorial.net/
The certificate read in part: “In recognition of his understanding that the spirit of a sundial can not only stir the imagination but also help to heal the heart and preserve fond memory, as evidenced in his design of the Kentucky Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial.” Helm also received the Sawyer Prize cash award and a beautiful special edition of Jim Tallman’s Spectra Sundial in etched glass.
Helm Roberts then gave an intriguing and moving presentation, “Making the Memorial – the Design, Theory, and Construction of the Kentucky Vietnam Veterans Memorial” at Frankfort, KY. The gnomon is made of stainless steel, and the end point of its shadow annually touches the engraved name of each of over 1100 soldiers on the anniversary of the day of death. The political and mechanical issues are fascinating, resulting in a truly artistic triumph.
Sundials for Starters
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Sawyer Dialing Prize
Fred Sawyer, in cooperation with the North American Sundial Society, established a continuing yearly award, the Sawyer Dialing Prize to be presented by NASS to an individual for accomplishments in or contributions to dialing and the dialing community.
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In these pages is the famous tub sundial created by Robert Terwilliger using his laser trigon to lay out hour lines on a very irregular surface to create a working sundial.
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Who are today's sundial artisans? Here are several bioghraphies of several artisans that show the unique combination of talents in art, engineering, and mathematics.
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