Nebra Sky Disk (Original)

Nebra Sky Disk as it was originally made
Royal Astronomical Society

Title: Nebra Sky Disk (Original)

Description: The 3 squares show the Nebra Disk as it was made originally, after all additions had been made, and in its damaged condition after it was found and restored.

Maker: Sue Miller

Techniques used: Applique of different fabrics including cotton, wool, kid leather, paper lame and foil


"I have a fascination for history and the motivations of people and their actions long ago. I saw the Nebra Disk on a TV programme and thought it was absolutely beautiful. Made around the Bronze Age, it must have had great significance to have been made from such precious metals and to be worked with such great skill. When I heard about the RAS project I immediately thought of the disk. It seemed such a perfect fit - one era's representation of the Cosmos incorporated into a present day era's recreation of a third era's astrological teaching tool - if you see what I mean! 3 ages drawn together by craftmanship and scientific curiosity. But, of course, I couldn't remember what it was called! Google to the rescue! Once I had found it again, I learned so much more about its history and the stages it has been though in its life. I decided to try to make squares for 3 of the main stages, as each one would have different challenges - such as "nibbling" bits out of fabric without it fraying - but didn't know if I would manage to complete them all in time. So I started with the most obvious - the 'Completed' stage. I think, without the coronavirus lockdowns, that that would have been all I would have managed to do. But the extra time at home gave me a chance to finish all 3 (every cloud....). It was such fun researching the disk and the objects represented on it, and also trying out different fabrics and the best ways to applique them onto the background - a real chance for me to learn more about my 3 main passions - science, history and needlework. It's not often something like that comes along!

It was really interesting to join in with the online sessions when I could make it, and to see what everyone else was doing. The designs were so varied and skilfully executed. It was great to feel part of a big project. The community was so supportive and generous with their ideas and suggestions. If I was flagging a bit because I couldn't quite work out how to do something, I always came away from the sessions with boosted enthusiasm and greater determination to find a way to succeed.