This seven-inch diameter steel sculpture is made of twenty identical
parts, cut with a computer-controlled plasma cutter. They are
to interlock with icosahedral symmetry, and I had the result powder
coated carmine red. The assembly was quite difficult, taking me
days, because it all wants to fall apart until the last piece is in
place to lock everything together. No welding, brazing or other
holds the pieces together, just the springiness of the steel. The
assembly's coherence relies on the mutual support of the parts. It
refinement of a puzzle design
had made in
plastic several years ago, but now I could use thinner parts as the
material is steel.
Above is a computer rendering I
designing the sculpture.
This view looks down a five-fold axis, the same as the computer
Above is an image of the actual
design. It is a simple three-armed
Above is another view,
looking down a three-fold axis, orthogonal to the plane of one
This sculpture was part of the
exhibit at the 2007 AMS/MAA joint math meeting
It is used as the cover art for The
, Vol. 40, No 2, March 2009.
In December, 2015, Mutual Support
was on display at the
MIT Museum in Cambridge, MA as part of the MoSAIC traveling Art
This view is from the sidewalk, looking in through the front
window glass at part of the exhibit.
Thank you Tony Vigliotti for providing the powder coating.
George W. Hart