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Sculptor Robert Adzema makes monumental sundials for public spaces — and smaller-scale versions for private gardens, such as this one, Arc of the Sun, made of bronze. Photo by Robert Adzema

Finding Your ‘Home,’ With a Sundial


Last year I journeyed to West Cornwall, Conn., to visit the celebrated ceramic artist Jane Herold at her home and studio. She was a delight and the tour of her studio was wonderful in and of itself — but an added bonus was the chance to meet her husband, the sculptor Robert Adzema.

Adzema and Herold had been in the New York City metro area until a few years ago (they now split their time between There and Here). Herold continues to work here in Litchfield County and is part of the Oct. 16-17 Clay Way tour, see the article about it this week on Page B2. 

Adzema has a particular interest in sundials, which he  creates on a monumental scale for outdoor public spaces. He has also begun to craft smaller works, perfect for outdoor spaces here in the garden-obsessed Tristate region. 

His work was featured in a recent newsletter article by Robin Parow for the Berkshire Botanical Garden. 

She describes how  Adzema became interested in the history of sundials and their use as scientific instruments that were used to mark the passage of time and to estimate our planet’s size and its place in the universe. 

Parow said that as a gardener, she too is interested in the position of the sun: “Learning about the changes in the position of the sun relative to the earth has informed my gardening. Instructions for the placement of some light-sensitive plants, for example, recommend setting them where they will receive some early afternoon shade, shelter at the hottest part of the day.” Sundials aremore than decorative for her; they help her find the right spot for the right plant. 

Parow said she also learned from Adzema that, “the greatest benefit of a sundial in the garden is the connection it creates between the viewer and the place. Reading a sundial unites the reader with the placement of the garden on the earth and with the season as well as the time of day and the heavens.”

Adzema’s studio was included in the Labor Day Weekend open artist studio tour in Cornwall and he is likely to be around during the Clay Way weekend as well. 

You can also contact him and see more of his work at www.Robertadzema.com or by phone at 845-304-6961. 

To learn more about sundials and gardens, you can listen to his conversation with Robin Parow on the Berkshire Botanical Garden’s Growing Greener podcast at www.thomaschristophergardens.com/podcasts/sculpting-the-sun.

Adzema’s large-scale sculptures and sundials can be found at public spaces throughout New York City.

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