“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 for the special anniversary coming up in two or three months’ time.
There were several things we had to decide. We wanted the new sundial to read solar time correctly, which would need a straight edge sloping at the latitude angle for the gnomon. This would be crafted as a part of the bird sculpture. Searching for inspiration, we studied different species of garden bird and our final result is shown in the picture. The shape of the sculpture is complicated to engineer in metal, so we have chosen water-jet cutting followed by fine machining. The sundial will be in polished brass for the gnomon and stainless steel for the dial. Perhaps our new songbird sculpture will attract birds to the garden!