Room by Room – the Nelson Sunburst Clock

By Modern Simplicity • Updated on 07/06/2021

We often think of iconic pieces of mid-century modernism as furniture only. Today Room by Room with FormFire Glassworks examines an oft-forgotten part of the everyday room – the wall clock.


George Nelson created a line of clocks for Howard Miller from 1948 to 1960, his most famous designs being the Sunburst Clock shown here and the Ball Clock. These clocks are a staple in retro design, often showing up above a fireplace. The Sunburst clock is available as multi-colored, in some solid colors and in a all-wood version. I am thrilled how well the multi-colored version fits with many of todays accessories. The striking geometries of the clock are mitigated by the use of slightly muted tones, which are fun yet not overpowering. If youre not quite ready to put this in a main room of your house, why not try it in a kids room? Its fun and functional. It is currently being sold through Vitra.

The “˜modern color of the clock is echoed in a set of glass coasters that sport their own sunburst theme. A geometric wood chair in a sturdy dark finish grounds the space and lets the clock shine. An orange quilt brings the color of the clock into direct use. A dark aqua bowl with a strong shape brings a hard texture to the surroundings, while a set of colorful felted bowls is soft and pliable.

Next week I will choose a new iconic piece and give you my picks for accessorizing your modern home.

3 comments | Click here to reply

[…] the full post and access links to the featured items at my guest post on paper n stitch. Posted by admin on Wednesday, July 15, 2009, at 4:14 pm. Filed under paper n stitch. Tagged […]

FormFire Glassworks : Modern Icons - the Nelson Sunburst Clock

that clock… in walnut… one of these days…!


emma lamb

the pop of orange in these products adds a lot of interest. its great to see orange and blue used together the right way (meaning they don’t look like gator colors). great post amy.

Leave a reply