Eight years ago the University of Western Australia (UWA) commissioned a talented graduate, artist Shaun Tan, to create an impressionistic sundial for the 100th anniversary of UWA.  The fundamentals of the west-facing sundial were delineated by UWA Professor Peter Kovesi of the Geophysics and Image Analysis Group.

What Shaun artistically designed based on Professor Kovesi’s hour lines was carefully photographed, scanned and reproduced as a pixilated map that was turned into 337,600 glass chips (tessera) by artisan tiler Iain H. Middleton from V-vo Architectural Mosaics, with Ankit Gakhar, Darren Hay and Brody Osborne.  The mosaic suppliers Bisazza from Vicenza, Italy selected the colored glass to give Shaun Tan’s brilliance as well as accuracy.  They prepared 375 squares each containing 900 individual tessera and shipped them from Vicenza to Perth.  In all, UWA states that “To create the background, place the tiles, clean and detail, grout and polish has taken approximately 560 man-hours.”

The 4.56×8.0 m. sundial was unveiled in January 2013, mounted with precision on a west wall of the University Club building located on the UWA campus in Crawley, Perth. A star-shaped gnomon with an open annulus casts a spot of time on the wall.  During the course of the afternoon, the spot moves from the bottom of the wall to the top, recording Italian Hours until sunset, a common and practical way of measuring time used since the Arabic sundial of al-Shatir in 1371.  The final sunset line is a race between the gnomon shadow and a shadow from a further western building.  Watch the time-lapse video created by Nic Montagu to see which shadow wins the race.  The dial marks the annual limits of the sun’s shadow at the solstices (summer on the left hand and winter on the right hand side) and a middle line for the equinoxes.

Read the full details at: http://hourstosunset.com/

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The Battle Point Astronomical Association, founded in 1992, provides astronomical observing for science education and public enjoyment at Ritchie Observatory and Planetarium in Battle Point Park on Bainbridge Island, Washington.

nass_news_2013_jun_Selvaggio_ArchesSouthwind Park in Springfield Illinois is a National Model Park.  It got its start in October 2004 when trustees accepted the donation of 80 acres of land just off South Second Street.  Their website states "Our unique state-of-the-art park serves as a national model by proving a new dimensions of inclusion for all people."  A park without boundaries that accomodates people in wheelchairs and visitors with special needs. 

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[photo courtesy of John Carmichael]

In 2002, the North American Sundial Society recognized John Carmichael with the Sawyer Dialing Prize as an eminent artisan who creates a wide variety of sundials, principally in stone and glass. In recognition, John received a small brass equatorial sundial made by the renowned British artisan Tony Moss.  But for nearly a decade the sundial remained on John's workbench never seeing the full light of day.

Recently Mr. Carmichael completed a 24:1-scale model railroad in his back yard (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jlcarmichael/sets/72157632430552837/with/8348506244/). Now his Sawyer Dialing Prize sundial finally sits in the Arizona sun as a miniature "Monumental Sundial" at the Trolley Station.  At the 24:1 scale, the 3-inch dial assumes the proportion of a large 6-foot equatorial sundial. You can see John Carmichael's dials at http://www.sundialsculptures.com/.

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[photoCourtesy of the Wilkes Journal-Patriot]

Some sundial artisans and their work are instantly recognizable.  Back in 2010 on the wall of the Yancey Times Journal building in Burnsville, North Carolina, astronomer Bob Hampton and artist Martin Weaver created the Quilt Block Sundial, an 8x8 foot vertical dial colorfully painted by volunteers from the Quilt Trails of North Carolina.

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[photo courtesy of John Foad]

Many have been following the Prime time Emmy Award winning series Downton Abbey on PBS.  This British World War I period drama was filmed on location at Highclere Castle in Hampshire, which represents the fictional Downton Abbey.  Many outdoor scenes were filmed in the village of Bampton, Oxfordshire. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Downton_Abbey )

As you follow the lives of aristocrats and servants in this acclaimed series, keep an eye out for sundials.  Attached is a photo noticed by NASS member John Foad.  Want to search for yourself?  Look for the dial in front of the hospital. The complete set of the series can be found on Amazon and Shop PBS.

And while you're at it, look for sundials in Foyle's War, Midsomer Murders, and Father Brown.  You'll be surprise how many sundials you will find.

Attachments:
Download this file (Dials_of_Downton_Abbey.pdf)Dials_of_Downton_Abbey.pdf[ ]313 kB

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On September 22, 2011 Penn State University dedicated a massive granite sundial donated by trustee and alumnus Joel Myers.  Designed and sculptured by artist Mark Mennin, it is installed in the university's arboretum.  At the dedication Myers  said, "We wanted to create something unique...The sundial is to be a destination".  Though still lacking a few final touches, such as a bit of polishing, the large granite dial is functional and tells time to the nearest minute.

 

nass_news_2011_aug_heliodome
[photo credit: Vincent Kessler]

A three dimensional sundial house?  You can find it at 10 rue du Diebach, Cosswiller near Strasbourg in the countryside of Alsace in France.  Eric Wasser has created the "Heliodome", a tilted circular building aligned with the earth's polar axis that is a far cry from the old Buckminister Fuller "Bucky Domes".

The house has a glassed southern exposure to allow sunlight during the winter, but from the equatorial belt forward the house has a nearly conventional roof providing shade during the summer.   As Wasser explains on his website, "The passive solar house is an architectural volume, a Heliodome, determined by the diurnal and annual trajectory of the sun."  Read more about the details at http://www.heliodome.com/equipe.html.

nass_news_2011_july_sunglass_circle
[photo courtesy of
Jackie Jones]

All right mate, have a pint of golden sun.  You can pick up a sundial beer glass designed by Jackie Jones for 51o North at The Greys Pub in Southover Street Brighton, or if you're out of the country, the dial will work in Banff, Canada, the European cities of Calais, Brussels, and Dresden, and in Kazahstan or other points of equal latitude

The sundial glass motto? “Campaigning for real time”.  The sundial glass is a sun altitude type of dial using a frosted ring on one side of the glass to cast a spot of light onto the far side of the glass, calibrated with hour lines for the date of year.  Not a bad way to contemplate the time while having a sip. You can get your own sundial glass at http://sundialglass.wordpress.com/