Solar Concentration for Craft Practice and Sustainable Development: Fusing Ancient and Modern Methods

Karen Westland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

595 Downloads (Pure)


This paper presents opportunities created through an interdisciplinary collaboration between the fields of physics and craft. The research adopted a Fresnel lens to concentrate sunlight generating heat for craft purposes. Recursive methods were developed in relation to literature and past projects working at the intersection between science and craft. Outdoor experiments were conducted in Scotland following a Safe Operating Procedure to safely transport and use the Fresnel lens. Material identity was investigated during the creation of the Sand Map of Scotland and the ‘Solar Enamelling’ experiments indicated the potential of using this clean energy source for material processing. Findings highlight that the use of optics for material alteration adopted in ancient history are becoming increasingly relevant in society today with the demand for fabrication methods that can contribute to sustainable development. This research indicates the technical capabilities of using a 40cm2 Fresnel lens to heat, melt and vitrify a variety of materials and suggests future applications of this technology including the ability to digitise the process. This material processing technique offers an alternative to heat matter and is significant in geographical locations with ample sunlight, offering a cost-effective option to traditional heating methods and allows directional heating, which local craftspeople can exploit to their creative advantage.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Pages (from-to)18-33
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Jewellery Research
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jul 2022


  • Craft
  • Physics
  • Optics
  • Enamel
  • solar concentration
  • Design
  • jewellery


Dive into the research topics of 'Solar Concentration for Craft Practice and Sustainable Development: Fusing Ancient and Modern Methods'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this