Sketch drawing with accurate geometry for the vertical polar sundial, and a working concept for the design.
Sundials are as old as civilisation, and the ancient designs often stimulate new ideas. We work on sundial designs all the time. To design and make a new one is exciting. There is a lot to consider, which we like to work out step by step.
The principles of the sundial were already well understood and written down by the seventeenth century. Today, computer tools can calculate sundial geometry and get it exactly right. Continue reading
It is hard to compare with the beauty of natural stone for a focal feature in the garden. The customer who bought our Orbdial sundial for a 60th birthday present also decided on our pillar pedestal made in Scottish sandstone to complete their new installation. They wanted something light in colour Continue reading
Our new sundial commission is for a sculpture of a songbird in polished brass on a mirror polish stainless steel dial. Artist sketch shown.
“I would like a new sundial shaped like a songbird for our garden in Edinburgh,” said one of our customers a few weeks ago. This lady told us she did like the Hourdial sundial that we had already shown to her, but she was very taken with our ideas for crafting the gnomon as an original piece of sculpture in the shape of a garden bird. This is now a commission for us to make her a unique and personal piece Continue reading
The interesting and beautiful stone sundial at Lennoxlove in Scotland would appear to be a composite piece (Canmore SC 1127053). It consists of a carved sundial stone and the sculpted statue of a lady. As described by Thomas Ross in 1890, both the sundial and the lady’s costume are from the 17th century, but the two pieces may have been put together. Firstly, the architecture is inconsistent, the decorative acanthus leaves at the bottom of the sundial stone do not have a connection with the curls on top of the lady’s head. Secondly, the whole piece does not function correctly as a sundial Continue reading
Fixing the sundial gnomon onto the wall and the finished result. Composite photo.
“I thought I would just fix up a garden cane sticking out from the house wall and mark where its shadows fall when the sun shines.” That was the original idea of one of our customers in Edinburgh when he asked if we had any thoughts to help him with his project for a wall sundial in his garden. Continue reading
Two beautiful sundials, a polished bronze armillary sphere and a horizontal dial with a butterfly sculpture gnomon. Photos: Brad Dillon, Horniman Museum.
To a visiting speaker the PROBUS name may be unfamiliar but to the many groups of retired people who meet every month to hear a talk on yet another interesting topic the name simply means pleasure. This was certainly the case with the Comiston group in south Edinburgh who invited Alastair Hunter to speak about sundials Continue reading
Scottish sundial stone supported by pedestal in the form of a lady. Photo: Dennis Cowan
There is a sundial standing in the garden at Lennoxlove House in Scotland that begs for an explanation of its curious form. The stone statue of a beautiful lady provides the pedestal for this sundial and there is no other like it. Unwrapping layers of history about such an unusual piece of architecture started last year in October. It was many months before we really knew the secrets of why this lady was there and what was her name. Continue reading
Our bright and interesting sundial display at Damhead Nursery near Edinburgh is always at its best under sunny blue skies. This year we will have to wait a little longer for the sunshine, as the photo shows, but we are all set up again for the 2016 season. Grey skies overhead still blot out the sun but we can say that winter blues are now behind us. There was some storm damage to our display stand over the winter, which we had to repair, Continue reading
Early computer model for the sundial (left), and the completed design erected on the wall of the school building
For anyone who has ever enjoyed doing geometry at school, getting the angles right on a sundial may not sound so difficult. The sundial has to see the sun and the shadows have to tell the time. When sundial sculptor Tim Chalk was sketching out ideas for his latest work to erect a sundial at Dollar Academy, a leading Scottish school, he thought about the angles Continue reading
Orbdial is a universal type of sundial that can be set for different latitudes.
In a land renowned for its clocks and watches a Swiss couple have chosen our Orbdial sundial to mark the hours in their historic garden set on a hill above Montreux, overlooking Lac Leman, which they are restoring to former glories. The sundial has a handsome polished pedestal in pink and yellow veined marble from Verona. The couple wanted to see the colours of sunrise and sunset in the sky picked up by the sundial and the stone. In Victorian times this house welcomed figures from music and the arts, including Gertrude Jekyll the influential garden designer. Continue reading