NADFAS Scotland Talk on Sundials

Capuchin sundial made in wood

The Capuchin sundial is a very early design, probably from the 1500s. The dial is held by hand and it can find the time from the sun’s altitude.

Telling time through the ages

Sundial expert and student of time Kevin Karney gave another of his fascinating talks on telling time through the ages to the audience of NADFAS members at their monthly meeting held in the Victoria Halls, Helensburgh, on Tuesday this week. NADFAS, the National Association of Decorative & Fine Arts Societies, is a leading arts charity and this was the second group in the Scotland and Northern Ireland area to have invited Kevin to speak recently. He was at the Tayside DFAS in November. By invitation, Macmillan Hunter also showed members a display of modern sundials at both events.

Kevin’s talk ranges from sun shadows in ancient times, and developments in the science of sundials and mechanical clocks in the middle ages, to ultra-precise timekeeping in the modern day. Seeing the array of intricate models and miniature sundials he brings with him is a delight. He uses laser-cutting technology and centuries old mathematical constructions to produce beautiful small sundials for his friends. The intriguing Capuchin dial, illustrated, is a very good example.