Thursday, April 17, 2014

Celebrating Science: Suns and Sunbursts

This vintage clock from the 1950-1960 period might
be described as atomic in style today but sunburst is probably the period description.

Vintage barkcloth. 
The idea of a center circle with radiating points
may be the classic image for mid-century modern

from jewelry

to kitchenware

to lighting

upholstery and drapery fabric.

And feedsack florals.

British designer Robert Stewart may have been the innovator
who popularized the sunburst.

You find radiating line imagery often in mid-century British design.
Here Lucienne Day called it Dandelion

It's also a Marimekko look as in
this design by Sanna Annuko

CBS's Sunday Morning uses the sun/sunburst image
as it's signature.

Bradbury & Bradbury "Doodle" wallpaper

Reproductions don't require much to evoke the classic minimalism.

Atomic Age by Casey York

Atomic Pinwheels by Little Red Hen Patterns

This reproduction print inspired a few recent quilts.

From Michael Miller

Vintage or reproduction? It's hard to tell.

See more about Robert Stewart here:

And Lucienne Day here:


  1. What a coincidence! Just saw "Atomic Spring", a quilt using this sunburst, on the blog Quilt Inspiration. Now I'll be looking for this symbol everywhere. Had a clock like the one shown.
    Donna in SC

  2. Flashback! As a little girl, I remember my mother having that very same clock in our living room. Thank you for evoking warm-fuzzies.

  3. These are all great examples! I'm really being drawn to mid-century modern design!