Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

Features

NASS_2010_GottesmanThe 2010 Sawyer Dialing Prize goes to William L. Gottesman of Burlington, Vermont, "In recognition of his committment to innovation and high precision design in sundials which combine tradition with 21st century advances."  Bill is designer of the Renaissance Sundial, a spiral sundial that uses curved mirrors to show the time to within 30 seconds.  His dial is available at http://www.precisionsundials.com

Bill collaborated with Kate Pond to design the Equatorial Band Sundial, dedicated during the 2010 NASS conference at Champlain College with the title "Come Light, Visit Me."  On a smaller scale, but with no less precision, Bill worked with Fred Sawyer to realize the Sawyer Equant Sundial that will show both solar and clock time.  To "advertise" the 2010 NASS conference, Bill even designed the back end of his car as a sundial, using the radio antenna as a gnomon.

As in past years, Bill was presented with $200 to fund a sundial project of his choice and a custom made Spectra Sundial by Jim Tallman of Artisan Industrials:

http://www.artisanindustrials.com/world-of-sundials/spectra-sundial-burlington-3.html

 

2013_CHSI_PocketSundial
[CHSI - Harvard Collection]

Appropriate to NASS’ visit, Harvard had just recently completed a new major exhibit entitled “Time and Time Again” offering conference members a unique view on the changes in time keeping and the social impact of timekeeping technology.  On Friday afternoon, NASS members followed the Time Trails through the Harvard campus, locating historical sundials “in the wild” and timepieces in the Semitic, Peabody, and Natural History Museums.

The day was finished by two presentations “Trading in Time: European Pocket Sundials Designed for Colonial Use in American Territories by Sara Schechner and “Portable Sundials in Austrian Museums” by Ilse Fabian.

During Saturday a plethora of sundial talks were presented by NASS members, including “Counting the Sunny Hours” by Roger Bailey to a new “Wandering Gnomon Sundial Designn” by Fred Sawyer.  Bob Kellogg presented the making of an animation illustrating the Ibn al-Shatir sundial proposed for Observatory Park in Virginia for the Analemma Society.  One of the most color presentations was Art Paque’s update on Solargraphy, illustrating the technique of forming daily images of the sun a photographic paper that at the last is digitally scanned and preserved.

Attachments:
Download this file (2013_Conference_BostonCambridge_MA.pdf)2013 Conference BostonCambridge_MA[2013 NASS Annual Conference]822 kB

Read more: 2013 Conference - Boston/Cambridge

NASS_2009_John_DavisAt the 2009 NASS Conference in Portland OR, Fred Sawyer announced that the Sawyer Dialing Prize would go to John Davis of the British Sundial Society, “in recognition of the superb quality of the dials he has created, and in appreciation of his historical research to enhance our knowledge of the dialists who preceded us and the craft they left us.”

The award money was used by John to help place one of his magnificent double horizontal sundials on the campus of Purdue North Central University in Indiana. John was able to show off the Spectra Sundial by Jim Tallman of Artisan Industrials. Fred Sawyer reviewed the portfolio of sundials and restorations by John, showing a replica of a 17 th century double-horizontal dial, several small engraved horizontals, a beautiful 14” circular dial and several dials based on the “Grocers’ Pattern” of the 18 th century.

John created a dial plate for the Isaac Newton sculptured dials at Leicester University and UCLA. In the bronze casting it appears that Newton’s prism casts a beam of light onto an equatorial dial. John has also created everything from vertical dials to pocket dials, including replicas of Humfrey Cole’s 1569 designs. John has also been very active in the restoration of many dials as well. After the award announcement, Fred gave John Davis’ presentation on John Seller, a sundial maker and probable forger who was located in London and worked during the 17 th century.

NASS_2008_Kate_PondAt the 2008 NASS Conference in St. Louis MO, Fred Sawyer presented the 2008 Sawyer Dialing Prize to Kate Pond “for the success of her World Sculpture Project.  This project has brought dialing, an appreciation of light and shadow and new connections between traditional art and science to children and adults in countries and cultures around the world.”  The prize consisted of a certificate, a cash award, and a specially commissioned trophy Spectra Sundial by Jim Tallman.

Kate Pond presented a summary of her award winning world project.  “My sculpture invites participation: with people, and with the sun, shadows and alignments at different seasons of the year.  The position of the sun, moon, and stars create a structure for me, like a painter might use a rectangle as a frame of reference.”  The first sculpture of her project “ZigZag”, is a simple elegant pipe structure that tracks the time from 10 am to 2 pm on the equinox at latitude 45 degrees, the border between Canada and the US at the dial’s location, Stanstead Quebec.  The next sculpture was SOLEKKO at the Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology, Oslo, Norway.  Here the sculpture is a triangular cone that casts no shadow at noon on the equinox.  All the projects involved children actively playing and learning and included time capsules with art and their messages for the future. Other sculptures were created in Japan, Hawaii, and New Zealand.  This last sculpture “Telling Stones” used stone alignments for the rising and setting of summer and winter solstices, equinox, and the rising of the Pleiades in June (the Matariki marking the Maori new year) and the rising of Antares (the Maori, Rehua), at the beginning of summer in December.  You can find more of Kate Pond’s works at http://www.vermontsculpture.com/

http://www.artisanindustrials.com/world-of-sundials/spectra-sundial-burlington-2.html

NASS_2007_MacOglesbyAt the 2007 NASS Conference in McLean VA, Fred Sawyer presented the Sawyer Dialing Prize to Mac Oglesby, citing Mac’s unusual dials and his willingness to help others make dials, passing his educational efforts among several generations of people, and his promotion of community interest in sundials.  Once again this year the prize included a custom Spectra Sundial designed and produced by Jim Tallman of Artisan Industrials.  In accepting the prize, Mac thanked many people who had helped him:  Bill Maddux, who introduced him to dials, Fred Sawyer, who brought him into NASS, Bob Terwilliger about Compendium articles, Fer J. de Vries, who helped him through email correspondence, Tony Moss for ideas, and David Roth, with slides of Bill Maddux and Mac and their work.  Mac then distributed cylinder azimuth dials he had made as a gift for each conference participant – specific to his/her own location.

http://www.artisanindustrials.com/world-of-sundials/spectra-sundial-brattleboro.html

 

NASS_2006_Hollander_DialAt 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.

http://www.artisanindustrials.com/world-of-sundials/spectra-sundial-amsterdam-netherlands.html

NASS_2005_Tony_MossAt the 2005 NASS Conference in Chicago IL, Fred Sawyer presented the Sawyer Dialing Prize to Tony Moss, “in recognition of his achievement in combining superb craftsmanship, a lifetime’s teaching experience, and a constant desire to share knowledge, methods, and techniques in the practical art of dialing.”  The prize consisted of a certificate, a cash award, and a specially commissioned Spectra Sundial by Jim Tallman.  Tony’s prize money went into the construction of the Jamestown 400th anniversary dial, dedicated in 2007 during the NASS Conference and placed at the Analemma Society’s Observatory Park (Turner Farm Park), Great Falls, VA.

nass_news_2012_aug_nass_1The North American Sundial Society held its 2012 conference in Asheville NC, August 16-19.  Alice Io Oglesby and Hugh Munro, local hosts and sundial enthusiasts, took NASS members on a sundial tour through Asheville and the rolling hills of western North Carolina to see the vertical dials at Sunny Point Café and the analemmatic dial of the “kitchen garden” at the Biltmore Estate.  In Burnsville, NASS members saw the Quilt Block Sundial, one of over 200 colourful quilt block paintings along the North Carolina Quilt Block Trail. NASS was welcomed by the Mayor of Burnsville and had the Quilt Block sundial explained by Bob Hampton, astronomer designer and Martin Weaver artist. The Quilt Block Sundial in Burnsville was a most impressive example of teamwork and community support. Travelling further, Brian Leonard showed the armillary sundial he fabricated and installed in Marshall, NC.

The NASS conference included exciting talks on a colourful “Parallel Time East West Sundial” presented by new NASS member Peggy Gunnerson and shadow alignments at Toshogu Shrine by Barry Duell of the Tokyo International University.  Frank King talked about a most unusual circular analemmatic dial he designed for the Metropolitana of Naples (an Italian job).  Dr. King was also this year’s recipient of the Sawyer Dialing Prize.  Roger Bailey discussed dials of Mallorca and the “Box of Sapphires”, a compendium designed by Ibn al-Shatir in the 14th century. Fred Sawyer gave a most interesting talk on “Projected Refraction Sundials with Ambigram”, and at the NASS dinner on Saturday, he distributed a special gift to NASS participants: a location specific projected refraction sundial with the ambigram showing “CARPE” on the dial and “DIEM” in the projected shadow.  Other speakers with interesting presentations included Alice Io Oglesby, Bill Gottesman, Dudley Warner and Ken Clark.  Next year’s conference is being planned for Boston.

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Photos shown: (Top) NASS conference participants underneath Bob Hampton's Quilt Block Dial; (Bottom Left) NASS members examine Alice Oglesby and Hugh Munro's vertical dial at Sunny Point Cafe; and (Bottom Right) Bob Hampton's Equatorial Dial made from a bent yardstick.

Read more: 2012 Conference - Asheville

Subcategories

  • Sundials for Starters
    Article Count:
    6
  • Conferences
    Article Count:
    23
  • 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.
    Article Count:
    19
  • Terwilliger Sundials
    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.
    Article Count:
    1
  • Biographies

    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.

    Article Count:
    6