Wednesday, July 08, 2009

John's Polyhedral Obsession

A couple of days ago, Mark Wyld introduced me to the sculpture of George Hart, a mathematician and sculptor. Many of Hart's sculptures are based on the icosidodecahedron (the same shape that is on a soccer ball).

After seeing a sculpture made out of old floppy diskettes, I thought, "I can do that." I looked at the geometry of how the cuts were made. Then I created a mitre-box for cutting perfect squares and slicing them at a 36 degree cut on a small craft paper cutter (using blue painter's tape). If you look at the square, you can see where to put the cuts and how far the cuts should go.

Three or four hours later... I slid the last blue square into place. Looking at the icosidodecahedron, I thought, "Wow. Cool." Then I knew I had to pose like Albrecht Dürer with it.

I think next time I'll use more tape to make better cutting guides (and cut the squares first using the guides instead of marking out squares with a pencil).

Looking down one axis, you can see how the opposite pentagons are flipped. Hart pointed out on his page that this is six cubes exploding. If I make another, I think I'll choose a different color so the finished project doesn't look like a Cubist representation of a hydrangea. Maybe (if I get some help) I can make some more for Special Wordos Awards.
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