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Joanna A. Migdal was born in London in 1958. After a foundation course at Ealing Art School, she undertook a seven-year apprenticeship with the sculptor and letter-cutter Edwin Russell, whose own Master was trained by typographer and sculptor Eric Gill (1882-1940). In addition, she studied calligraphy and later learned the art of hand-engraving with O’Connell and Yardley in London.
Migdal has specialised in the art of sundial-making, working in England, Scotland, Ireland, the Channel Islands, Europe, the Middle East, Hong Kong, Australia and the United States on projects of all sizes. Her public works in Britain include The Millennium Measure and the Newgate Street Clock in the City of London, the Memorial to the Bomb Victims in Tavistock Square, London, a sundial at the Globe Theatre, London, the Memorial to John Harrison in Westminster Abbey, London, the armillary sphere in Gray’s Inn, London, the armillary sphere at Kew Palace and the double horizontal dial at St. Hugh’s College, Oxford. Migdal combines the abstract and the geometric in her sculpture. It is by its nature free yet paradoxically bound by the laws of mathematics and planetary motion. Each piece must not only be conceived as a work of art, but also calculated and made for the specific place for which it was commissioned, its essence and purpose being to link that specific spot to the universe.
Migdal has received many awards for her work and now serves on the Court of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers of London, a guild founded by Royal Charter in 1631. She currently holds the office of Junior Warden and is the first female artist and practical horologist in nearly four hundred years to have achieved that office. She served as Steward for three consecutive years in the Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers, of which she is also a Liveryman. She has been elected to the Hand Engravers’ Association, is a Brother of the Art Workers’ Guild and is an active member of London’s Chelsea Arts Club.