On this page I show the sculpture projects which I completed in Spring 2008. Most of the pieces shown were made in one small bronze pour on March 14 at the Sculpture Studio at Binghamton University, but one larger piece, a hypocycloid trefoil knot, was made in a second pour in April. These pictures of the bronze castings show the pieces with gating removed, but not completely polished, so there is more work needed to finish them. In some cases I also show pictures of the wax model before casting.
I have made sculptures based on the torus before, some with extra holes punched through making the surface of higher genus. In this sculpture there are three radial pillars coming from the center to the torus, making a genus 3 surface like a steering wheel. On that surface are carved three linked knots, each one going around the outside of the torus twice before going down one pillar into the center and then back out another pillar to close the knot. These three knots link with each other at the center, and the whole design has the symmetry of the permutation group S_3. If I could do it, I would make the three knots visibly different, and I might try to do so by inlaying differently colored wire along those curves. This piece is approximately 6" in diameter and 1" thick.
I have also made several sculptures based on the trefoil knot, one with hypocycloid cross-section. In this next sculpture I have made a small figure eight knot, the next most complex knot after the trefoil. The cross section is a hypocycloid (concave triangle) twisted in such a way that there is only one edge and only one surface, analogous to the Mobius band. These pictures show the piece after I have completed welding repairs to fix some holes, and after quite a bit of polishing. It is still not as smooth as it will finally be, but it is getting close. I am including two pictures showing the piece mounted over a wood base of black walnut and hung from a parabolic arc of bronze rod, made as I did for an earlier bronze trefoil knot sculpture. I also show a picture of the wax model used to make this sculpture. The piece itself is approximately 8"x7"x4", and with the base is 9"x11"x11". Since the cross-section is rather small, the piece is quite light, and and produces a small delicate ringing tone when hung and struck.
I also made a small Mobuis band, where the surface reconnects to itself after going through a hole in the surface. This piece is approximately 4"x3"x1".
There are many interesting sculptures based on surfaces of negative curvature which have inspired me to try making ones of my own. One of the most basic is the Scherk tower, which consists of a series of saddle surfaces. My attempt to make one is shown below, in bronze and in wax before the casting was done. This piece is 11"x3"x3". The pictures in bronze show the piece only partially polished, but all welding repairs have been completed, so that the piece now stands firmly on its four legs.
On March 11, 2008 the third annual iron pour was held in the Sculpture Studio of Binghamton University. This one was attended by students and professors from several schools in the area, and two furnaces were used. I participated in only a small way, contributing one sand mold for making a single sculpture, an iron version of the twisted tetrahedron which I had previously cast in bronze. Here are two pictures of it partially polished.
There was one more bronze pour in April, 2008, and I prepared two pieces for casting in that pour. One was a large Hypocycloid Trefoil knot, as I have previously made (and sold), but this one is larger and more symmetrical. I show a picture of it below. The other piece is a copy of a trivet woven out of rope, based on a Celtic design. I made a copy of the original from a rope of nylon and polypropoline which burned away in the kiln as wax would. This is, perhaps, the most practically useful item I have ever made in bronze. Here is a picture of the woven rope copy I made, with no gating yet attached.
The final bronze pour took place as scheduled, and both of the pieces mentioned above were cast. There was some trouble with the large trefoil knot because of cracks in the mold which allowed the molten bronze to run out of the bottom of the mold. The students doing the pour decided to pour part of the mold, let it cool, and then poured the rest, giving time for the bottom to seal. The result was not bad, but the crystalization of the bronze as it cooled seems to have been divided into two sections, leading to a dull sound when it is rung. I hope this will improve after some welding repairs are done. Here is a picture of the piece with all gating removed and partially polished. It is approximately 16" x 14" x 8" in size, and will eventually be displayed hanging over a granite base.
To see more types of sculpture I have tried, follow the following links:
Links back to:
Webpage of Alex Feingold,
Department of Mathematical Sciences,