Saturday, 28 July 2012

Marbled Balls

Katryn and I experimented with marbling onto polystyrene balls today with varying degrees of success. I don’t think I will bother again but Katryn enjoyed it and we used paper to clear out the inks after each attempt and those pieces came out quite well so it was not entirely a wasted exercise. Anyway, here are some photos of the fun!!!








Monday, 23 July 2012

Knitted Phone Sock

P1060671_blogIt’s official – not only can I knit but I can also make useful (& pretty?) things from my knitting. This is the first piece of knitting that I have ever done (almost) entirely on my own. I just had a couple of tiny hiccups along the way that Barbara kindly helped me to fix this weekend. It’s tight and I used completely inappropriate needles for the job but my stitches are even and I’m really proud of the end result. I made it for my wonderful Mum who had a significant birthday this week. She says she thinks it’s wonderful but she has to say that! David chose the buttons for it and I think you’ll agree that he made an excellent selection.
So, here’s how I did it…
First I cast-on with 40 stitches, which took up about 14cm on my size 12 needles. I then knitted three rows before turning to stocking stitch (knit a row, purl a row). Once I hit 10cm I did a further three knitted rows and cast off. This left me with a knitted rectangle 14cm by 11cm.
I sewed the two 11cm edges together and stitched one of the 14cm edges together (inside out) to form a closed tube. I then secured three strands of wool inside the pouch and threaded them through to the outside before plaiting them and securing the ends back on the inside.
Finally, David selected the buttons and I sewed them onto the front of the phone sock – beautiful!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Art from Mathematics?

I read an article on WonderHowTo about making Art from Mathematics and decided to give it a go. This piece is all about Fibonacci and the Golden Spiral.

I started by drawing two 1cm by 1cm squares next to each other. Underneath these I drew a 2cm by 2cm square. Working anticlockwise I then added a 3cm square, 5cm square and so on until my canvas was completely covered. This produces a sequence of squares with side lengths 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, … since each new square sits next to the previous two. A sequence that we all recognise as the Fibonacci numbers, don’t we?! Anyway, the Golden Spiral is created from these squares by constructing quarter circles in each square as shown below…


My artwork required me to complete each quarter circle into a complete one so that I was left with circles of radius 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13 and 21cm. Thankfully my compass just about stretched to the 21cm.


I have now painted the piece with acrylics and it will hang alongside my string art in my classroom from tomorrow morning. I wonder how long it will take my classes to notice the Mathematics hidden within it! Those Year 10s who regularly read my blog (you know who you are – and did ask for a shout out!!!) are excluded from the competition!


Monday, 9 July 2012

Vi Hart–you are amazing!

Vi Hart is a professional Mathematician who works at the Khan Academy. Her work is amazing and I love her energetic videos about mathematical doodling and the Fibonacci numbers. Her website was recommended to me last week and I’m really pleased to have been introduced to her work – it’s truly inspirational. Click on the screenshots to view her website and youtube channel respectively. I’ve also added her blog to the “Blogs and other sites I’ve used” list on the right hand side.



Saturday, 7 July 2012

Bamboo Hyperbolic Paraboloid

On Thursday night I needed something to occupy my mind and keep myself awake while I waited for David to come home so I decided to make this…


It’s a hyperbolic paraboloid, which is a surface shaped like a saddle made from perfectly straight bamboo skewers. This is known as a doubly ruled surface since it is created from two families of rulings (straight edges).

Mathematically it is given by the Cartesian equation   z=(y^2)/(b^2)-(x^2)/(a^2)

Structurally it is created by forming a tetrahedral frame and gluing bamboo skewers from one side to another in one direction and then again in the opposite direction. Finally (and preferably once completely dry and solid) you remove the two unused skewers to leave you with the saddle or giant pringle! It looks amazing if you hang it and allow it to spin on an axis.

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Unfortunately, this story has a sad end. I took my work into school on Friday to share my creation with fellow appreciators of geometry but Yavuz dropped it. This knocked some of the skewers off and compromised the structural integrity of the surface. It is now back in the form of 24 individual sticks and is waiting to be reconstructed using a stronger glue before it can take its place in my classroom.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Inspiration from WonderHowTo MathCraft

I stumbled across this website last week when I was looking for inspiration for a card I had to make and was instantly impressed. Unsurprisingly, this is an American site and is absolutely crammed with fantastic ideas to combine Mathematics with Art and Craft. The tutorials are detailed and easy to follow. Some of the pieces exhibited on the site are stunning. So far I’ve found curve stitching, knot theory, the golden ratio, origami, platonic solids and hyperbolic planes and I’ve barely scratched the surface of this fantastic new resource. Click on the screenshot to link to the site yourself – it’s well worth a visit.


Thursday, 5 July 2012

Alternative to Wedding Card

David and I flew to Munich last weekend for Florian and Julia’s wedding. It was a scorcher but an absolutely amazing wedding from start to finish. I loved it and am thrilled to have been able to celebrate the start of their marriage with them. I decided to make them an alternative to a wedding card, framing this stitched piece for them.


Here’s the happy couple outside St Paul’s Church in Munich. Not a very traditional shot but I like it…


Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Handmade Thank You Card

Last Friday was our Year 13 Leaver’s Day and I must confess that I was a wreck rom start to finish. Let’s just say I’m not a fan of goodbyes even if I know I’ll stay in touch with the people who are moving on.

Anyway, Kirsten gave me this beautiful handmade card to say thank you. It hasn’t scanned very well because it’s quite three dimensional but you get the idea. I absolutely love it.


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