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I'd like to make one thing perfectly clear

George W. Hart


 

With precise symmetry and smooth curved lines, I'd like to make one thing perfectly clear was designed to be both crystalline and organic. The thirty twisted components correspond to the thirty edges of the icosahedron,a Platonic polyhedron with twenty triangular faces.

On an abstract level, this sculpture explores the idea of self-distortion. Looking through any plastic piece to the opposite side, the views of the sculpture seen through itself are distorted by refraction.  A pure mathematical form corrupts itself.

Thirty identical pieces of heat-formed acrylic plastic were cemented together to form this transparent orb. After cutting, each piece was first cooked in an oven to soften the plastic, placed in a form to set the appropriate shape, and then allowed to cool.  The edges were then beveled to fit together in groups of five. Finally, with jigging to hold the components in the proper relative positions, they were cemented together. As in most of my pieces, the time and effort that went into designing and making the jigs far exceeds the actual construction of the sculpture itself.  The crucial dimension here is that the angle between the two straight edges of each component must very accurately be the central angle between adjacent vertices of an icosahedron, namely twice the arc cotangent of  (1+sqrt[5])/ 2.

The chair is not part of it, just a handy plinth.




copyright 1999, George W. Hart