rhino retreat results

24 03 2009

i want to express my gratitude to chris hentz for his dogged determination that i learn something over the course of 5 days in louisiana.  and to barbara minor for her constant care and feeding while i slogged through my baby steps of learning rhino (3D modeling software).

even though there were a few times i didn’t think i could absorb any more information, chris patiently guided me through, helping me with my ideas and stressing the importance of technical exercise.  hmm sounds vaguely familiar.

my tangible results

i started with this:


this is a cartesian form known as Pearls of Sluze which has the specific mathematical expression of yn = k(a-x)p xm.  i’ve had this shape in my notebook for about ten years and have envisioned it as a darkly textured ball that is light in the hand. the fact that the form can be described exactly in a numeric language is very compelling to me.  there are several dozens of forms like this each with their own particular mathematical characteristics and shape distinctions.

ideally, i have wanted to see this one in iron, like a rusty finial on an old fence.  but casting it in iron would make it too heavy.  but, i’m one step closer to getting what i want.

chris helped me take that shape and rotate it on it’s axis to create this in rhino:


this is the rhino rendering which allows the form to be three-dimensionally printed.  in this case using a zcorp printer which prints plaster and a catalyst to harden it.  i have more pictures of this process here.  we printed eleven, to have plenty to experiment with. they are hollow with 2mm walls and look like small eggs or mexican wedding cookies. i called them bonbons.


each of these eleven bonbons will have a different fate as i experiment with what the materials can and can’t do.

the next thing i wanted to do was based on this sketch from my notebook:


that became combined in my head with the live oak leaves that littered the streets around chris and barbara’s neighborhood:


the leaves swirl following water patterns when it rains.

i’m still in the process of making a successful combination of those things.  so far it looks like this:




there are many versions of this square but chris milled out this one:


now all i need are the many years of diligent practice to make somethign really useful.


rhino art spa

9 03 2009

this week i’m travelling to baton rouge lousiana to stay at the “art spa” of chris hentz and barbara minor.  they take the ‘fat farm’ approach to art making with visitors:  they’ll feed me at the end of day if i get all my work done.

chris, jewelry and metalwork faculty at LSU, has generously offered to help me get a leg up with the rhino software i’m trying to learn.  the hope is to be able to print something by the end of the week and have some tangible to take home with me.

this is some really exciting stuff to me.

i’m taking with me this


and this


and this


i can’t wait to see what i bring back.

wine flask for Omar Khayyam

5 03 2009

bottle stopper for

The Art of Opening: Bottles and Their Stoppers for SNAG 09 Philadelphia

As I don’t really drink, I used poetry as the access point for understanding those who do.
This year is the 150th anniversary of the first English translation of the Rubbaiyat of Omar Khayyam by Edward Fitzgerald. The 11th century poem is an ode to wine, god, mathematics, friends, nihilism and more wine.

The flask includes quatrain 11 of the first edition and uses Hoefler Text Italic, a font so lovely it makes my chest hurt:

Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough,
A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse – and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness –
And Wilderness is Paradise enow.

The lettering itself can really only be seen once the decanter is full of red wine.

I find the use of the conjunction “and” in the poem endearing.  It feels inclusive, welcoming, tied to abundance.  I’ve expressed “and” as the ampersand which is at its very best in this particular font.

glass, sterling, mother of pearl, cork.

my photo set-up is pretty rudimentary here so the pictures aren’t the quality i would normally go for.  but i’m learning to make do.