BSS comp TC 1

Detail of the completed Sundial

Rutland Square Gardens
Rutland Square
Edinburgh EH1 2AS

Client: The Rutland Square Garden Association
Longitude: 3.2º West
Latitude: 55.9º North

Designed and made by Tim Chalk
Commissioned July 2014
Completed April 2015

Dial Type: Equatorial Dial
Materials: Cast Glass reinforced Concrete with bronze and gold leaf details
Dimensions: 400mm diameter


This sundial formed part of a commission to design and create a sculptural setting for a fossil tree stump already present in the garden. The design proposal was for a seating area serving as a place of quiet contemplation. The fossil at its heart inspired the theme of a meditation on the passage of time; the contrast between human and geological timescales. Several layers of time are represented by the fossil (deep time), surrounded by a slab marked with tree rings (centuries and decades) with a carpet of leaves (annual seasonal cycle). The bench picks up the tree and leaf theme, and on its end sits a sundial marking the passage of hours and minutes. The ground slab carries an inscription taken from the Tao of Lao Tsu; “Who can wait quietly while the Mud settles?”. The bench and ground slab are set in a surround of stone mosaic suggestive of flowing water; another transient feature.

The sundial itself takes the form of a spherical boulder with the front opened up to reveal inside an Equatorial Sundial with a gold leaf bandof hour marks and a bronze gnomon


The sundial was modelled in plaster and wax and then cast into glass reinforced concrete. Following the casting process the hour band was picked out in gold leaf to help accentuate the markings and make them easier to read. The bench top and ground slab were modelled in clay and then also cast into glass reinforced concrete. The bench is supported on two oak blocks shaped to fit. All were installed on site and then surrounded by the stone mosaic in situ.

The photos show the finished work and the construction process.

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