‘Solar Spheres / Stellar Shadows’ explores the subject of Heliology – the study of the sun, and everything it influences. It specifically focuses on the subjects of sunspots and space weather, in order to answer the question:
“How can metalwork and etching be creatively utilised to further understand and demonstrate heliology research?”
Influenced by her study of historical and current solar research, including Galileo’s ‘Letters on Sunspots’, and up-to-date space weather forecasting, Hannah Northward has developed a design process which uses sunlight as both an inspiration and as a tool for melting silver.
Solar Spheres: Created by magnified sunlight, these necklaces adorn the body with representations of sunspot data.
Stellar Shadows: Observe the shadow of a dish designed by the sun, with details extracted from a Solar Sphere via etching.
These pieces subtly convey a message of curiosity and awe. Displayed together, they create an experience for the viewer to observe in detail the results of her Fresnel lens experiments, demonstrating a sustainable method of ‘solar-melting’ for craft and design purposes.
The use of a warm spotlight and gold-plated metals conveys imagery of the sun, along with providing a sense of value and significance to the work. Northward has designed these pieces to inspire further solar research and to encourage the viewer to consider new ways in which the sun can be used for sustainable design.