72 Pencils

George W. Hart

72 Pencils is a geometric construction of 72 pencils, assembled into a work of art.  Restricted to a signed limited edition of twenty-five, each shares a common form, yet each is unique.  The form is an arrangement of four intersecting hexagonal tubes that penetrate each other in a fascinating three-dimensional lattice.  Each of the sculptures in the edition is constructed with a different type of pencil, so each is a one-of-a-kind object.

The one shown above is made with CMYK pencils.  This idea is due to Jeff Rutzky, an NYC designer who often works with printers in the CMYK color space.  He commissioned this special instance of the sculpture with those four colors. Although I had originally planned an edition of 25, and this was going to be #19/25, I liked Jeff's concept so much that I decided to end the edition early.  So it is numbered 25/25.  There is and will be no #19-24.

   The above instance was commissioned by John Sullivan, with specially printed ISAMA pencils.
The view shows how it looks along a three-fold axis of symmetry.

For some viewers, part of the interest lies in the form of the interior.  The four hexagonal tubes are hollow, so the sculpture as a whole is hollow.  But, what shape is its cavity? What would someone on the inside see?  To the mathematician, the answer is "the rhombic dodecahedron," a geometric solid bounded by twelve rhombuses.

Copyright 2008, George W. Hart