Light Hearted

Light Hearted ep 107 – Dan Spinella and Artworks Florida; Scottish architect/artist Alan Dunlop

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Dan Spinella began his Fresnel lens research and restoration work in 1992. His first project was to provide engineering drawings to aid in the restoration of the St. Augustine Lighthouse first-order Fresnel lens. Several restoration projects followed, using both acrylic and glass prisms used to restore historic Fresnel lenses. Dan’s company, Artworks Florida, began creating full-scale reproduction Fresnel lenses in 2004.

Dan Spinella has restored several lenses at the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse Museum in Florida (courtesy of Dan Spinella)

To date, 40 reproduction Fresnel lenses have been manufactured. Some of his lenses are installed in lighthouses as aids to navigation and some are on exhibit in lighthouse museums across the country.

Dan has also created numerous short videos that explain the intricate workings of the Fresnel lens and the creation process of the reproduction lenses. The videos can be viewed on the “Artworks Florida” YouTube channel.

Alan Dunlop in his studio
(courtesy of Alan Dunlop)

Alan Dunlop is one of the UK’s leading architects and a respected educator. He’s taught at a number of schools of architecture in the UK, the USA, and in Germany. He’s also a gifted artist and his drawings have been exhibited at the Royal Academy in London and the Royal Scottish Academy.

Last year, when the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted his work, he created a visual diary of his family’s life during lockdown.

After filling four large sketchbooks, he turned his attention to lighthouses. Alan has been visiting and photographing lighthouses for about 30 years.

For his latest sketches, he’s focused on the Scottish lighthouses designed by the famous Stevenson family of engineers.

More of Alan’s sketches can be seen on Instagram.

The special guest co-host for this episode is Jeff Gales, executive director of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

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