Sculpture 'N' Math

Sculpture 'N' Math

Art and Science just seem to be antagonistic concepts. In fact, we can find unique aesthetical qualities on several objective, rigid, geometric and mathematical shapes. The American artist Bathsheba Grossman chose the bronze to materialize complex three-dimensional geometric figures. It could be a class of Math.

The way she works is more interesting than the final product. Usually, she puts her sculptures on a geometric standard basis that it is repeated and interlaced in circular zones. The found figure invariably obeys to rotational symmetry rules -- it means that a three-dimensional object starts repeating its shape as it goes round along of a symmetry axis. The possible variations are huge -- almost infinitive.
On very developed patterns, this property can be verified in more than one rotation axis. The more symmetry conditions an object has, the more elegant and cleansing is its shape, getting it closer of the elemental geometric solids like the cube, the tetrahedron, octahedron, the dodecahedron or the icosahedron. Sometimes, the rules are very simple like, for instance, three rotations of 180º in each of the coordinated perpendicular axes.

In the middle of all of this, it is hard to mentally visualize the object and, above all, to find a representation system which allows to create a model to serve as a mold. The traditional molding systems do not become adjusted to this purpose. Then, the creation process starts with the modular source selection of the sculpture. In some cases, it can be made a rudimental model with plasticine, paper or matches. After that, this basic model is developed on the computer supported by a CAD program. It is a slow operation.

The next step is passing the virtual model to the physical object. It requires a process named 3D printing -- which can be made on several ways. The most common is the model construction by layers or sections on a wax block. Then, the conventional techniques of molding and foundry start by the method known as "Lost-wax casting". The piece gets finished with the surface oxidation and polish.


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