Tuesday, December 28, 2010


The east coast was brought to its knees by snow this past weekend. In a flippant twist, Durham is supposed to enjoy temps in the 60s this coming Saturday. That should be warm enough to melt the hunk of ice in my pottery water bucket out on the porch, and maybe even warm enough to allow me to wear short sleeves as I throw my next clay geeksperiment: the Bagel Box.

The Bagel Box probably has a tidy mathematical name, but since it's inspired by George Hart's nifty website on how to cut a bagel into two interlocking halves, it's going to be "the Bagel Box." In the absence of a tangible clay torus, my brain is unable to decide whether I'll need to devise some sort of key to hold the two halves together--a box is no good if the lid won't stay on--which is why it's so urgent that I get outside and on the wheel. (I've been contemplating setting the wheel up in our living room for the next month or so, but I'm happy to hold off if it's going to be 60 on Saturday. Let's add "devise a more practical winter studio" to the list of New Year's resolutions.)

If the Bagel Box is a success, I'll attempt a trefoil knot Bagel Box.

"Success" here means "aesthetically and intellectually pleasing." It's hard to imagine this will be a practical box, given that part of the container will be the lid, part of the lid will be the container, and parts of both lid and container will be bottomless and lidless sides. Indeed, it isn't as though you see Bagel Boxes everywhere--although that might be less a function of function as of a gaping void (or box) waiting to be filled. Or not.

I found the bagel-slicing page via Vi Hart's brilliant mathemagical website, another fantastic fount of inspiration.

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