Memoirs of a Polyhedron Maker
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After making several wooden math shapes no more than a couple feet wide, I
felt it was time to expand my sculptural adventures, and make one that someone
could go inside. The hardest part is being at a point in history where the
study of symmetric forms is developed enough. 150 years ago it would have
been difficult to suddenly decide to make this shape unless I was a lot smarter,
and a few years from now, there may not be any humans left to study anything!
Working with numbers graciously provided by
a much more experienced programmer and checking them against Robert
Birrell's 1992 masters math thesis report about this shape, and in which there
were some errors (I would have flunked the man!), I could now figure out how
much wood I needed and begin construction...
After bankrupting myself buying wood (and right after that finding out I was
getting laid off from my main day job, but that's another story), the first
step was to cut out accurate paper stencils to aid in cutting out the actual
pieces. When cutting anything with sharp objects or power tools, always remember
SAFETY MUST BE MAINTAINED!
If you maintain proper focus and observe safety rules, you should be able to
cut a whole lot of stuff without too many problems besides splinters, back pain,
and general fatigue.
All summer I've been attempting to collect unemployment, job hunting, and trying
to get this thing done by Sunday the 19th (tomorrow, as I write) but really
it will be done within a week of Sunday. (Really!)
Pieces waiting to be
glued and screwed
|Michael welding the
inner metal structure
Finished pieces awaiting
Ok, so it's a week after the start of the show, and I'm
still working on it, Most of the pieces are good to go. If I can just hold out
a few more days and finish it, then I'll be able to collapse and await my fate
with a peaceful soul. If only I could get Michael to weld that inner structure
in a timely manner. What's the matter with volunteers these days? If I had a
nickel for everyone who said they'd help me tomorrow, why I'd start paying people!
At long last, the metal support structure is now all welded and I'm putting
it in place with the aid of band clamps and plumber's tape. It's made of pieces
that end in these fork kind of deals, and the forks ultimately grab onto each
other. Seperately, the forks look like little birds clamoring for their dinner.
Someday, my days will not be filled only with wood scraps and screws. As work
progresses, I've noticed my friends seem to not be visible quite so often
any more for fear of having to turn down my pleas to help me. When all else
fails, ask Mom and Dad:
Here we see my dad
trying out his new
After 53 4x8 sheets of plywood, 5 lbs of screws, 100 feet of 1/2 inch steel
rod, 1 quart wood glue, a chair with a pivot, and little bits of sweat and
blood, the polyhedron is finished. That is to say, as finished as it is
going to get for the time being. To set up this thing, it appears to take
the same amount of time for my thumbnail to grow one length, because I jammed
it with the screwdriver right at the base when I started, and I was just
clipping the purple spot off when I finished. Render that on a computer!
At the Opening...
Michael, Russel, Will and Paul eating the food Paul made. Below, other
little things I displayed.
And so, after one month of display, the show ends,
and it's time to scuttle the polyhedron. But perhaps You can help find a
permament home for it, and get all those god forsaken pieces out of my apartment!
I can't live under these conditions!
One word of warning:
The shape may be beautiful, but this thing leaves more droppings than
|Behold Tom, King of the Plywood
My apartment, or the dump?
My apartment, or the dump...
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