Sun Art

You only need a block of wood, a magnifying glass, the sun, and patience to make sun art.


| July/August 1979



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With the addition of some varnish and perhaps enamel paint, your sun art will be complete. 


PHOTO: JIM AND MELANIE HARLESS

As more and more people realize that our planet's safest energy source is actually its nearest star, folks are beginning to use direct sun power to heat homes, distill fuel, and more. In fact, we recently learned that Jim Harless of Oak Ridge, Tennessee has developed an ingenious method of putting the clean "celestial" energy to work. Jim's clever idea has provided him with hundreds of hours of soothing, creative recreation. Yet we here at MOTHER EARTH NEWS can't help but think (without in any way meaning to criticize J.H.'s hobby-time habit) that the Tennessean's brainstorm could also be expanded into a nonstrenuous, profitable home business!

And exactly what is this "hot off the fire" potential pocket-stuffer? Why, it's the fine craft of sun art!

Jim's been carving art objects with sun power for over a year now,  and his "natural" etching has turned out to be the most relaxing and expressive craft he's ever tried. Mr. Harless has found solar wood-burning to be so pleasurable an activity for its own sake that he's just beginning to realize he can turn a nice profit by selling his artwork! (Some of his sun-burned scenes—which only took an hour to complete—have been snapped up for $8.00 apiece at various craft shows.)

Best of all, anyone can afford to try his or her hand at this solar-age art idea (for fun and/or for money!) because the Volunteer Stater's imaginative pastime requires absolutely no significant investment. Jim's entire "equipment set" consists of odds and ends of light-colored wood, a can of varnish, a soft lead pencil, a pair of polarized sunglasses, and an inexpensive hand-held magnifying glass!