Print this page

Carving and Gilding

The completed dial faces, 1989.

The completed dial faces, 1989.

Each face of the dialstone enables different hours of the day to be read. To achieve this it was essential for the stone to be accurately carved, gilded and, finally, placed. The dial faces were designed, carved and gilded by Caroline Webb, in her studio in Wiltshire in 1989. 

The gnomons (which cast the shadow on each dial face), the orb, the Donors' Ring and other work, were kindly sponsored by architectural ironmongers Comyn Ching & Co. who traded on Seven Dials from the early 1700s, just one of the many examples of sponsorship in-kind which were key to our success.

One tonne dialstone ready for carving

The one tonne dialstone rising off its pallet, ready for work on the sundials at Caroline Webb's Wiltshire workshop. It had travelled from Ashby & Horner's Essex works in a special crate.

Drawings of the dial faces.

Drawings of the dial faces taken from the Trust's fundraising brochure. Three have been sponsored to date. 

Initial drawings for Dial faces

Initial drawings.

Caroline Webb on top of the scaffolding putting the finishing touches to the gilding in situ. Caroline Webb on top of the scaffolding putting the finishing touches to the gilding in situ.

Caroline Webb on top of the scaffolding putting the finishing touches to the gilding in situ.

60 degrees east of north 60 degrees east of south

(L) 60 degrees east of North. (R) 60 degrees east of South.

60 degrees west of north 60 degrees west of south

(L) 60 degrees west of North.  (R) 60 degrees west of South.

North dial South dial

(L) North dial.  (R) South dial.

South dial wrapped for protection.

South dial wrapped for protection.

 

PICTURES FROM OUR EXHIBITION:

 

Architects setting out lines transferred Numerals pencilled in

Initial carving Final carving

Final carving on 60 deg E of N before cleaning South face carved

Using precision tools for 100percent accuracy

 

South face first painting Sun hours and numerals to be gildedand undercoated

 

Cutting loose leaf into strips for gilding Lose leaf applied to gold size

 

Soft brush used to remove excess gold and fina blue paint layer Final dialstone with gnomen holes

 

Dialstone being lifted back to Ashby & Horner Dialstone being hoisted (1 tonne)

 

Dialstone set in place on Vase stone Dial faces completed with gnomons. South + East of South. Caroline Webs magnificent carving and gilding.

 

The Times 1989 Caroline Marking Time watched by her cat Bembo

The Times, 1989.

The Guardian 1989

The Guardian 1989.