Scherk Tower IV, by Michael Foster

Currency:USD Category:Art / Medium - Sculptures Start Price:100.00 USD
Scherk Tower IV, by Michael Foster
600.00USD+ applicable fees & taxes.
This item SOLD at 2015 Jun 26 @ 20:41UTC-4 : AST/EDT
All items in this auction were created, at least in part, on the wood lathe, with wood as the primary material. All are one-of-a-kind signed originals, individually created by the artist listed.
Lot # 275
Scherk Tower IV
Red Maple
9" x 5" x 5"

Michael Foster
Vermont, United States

I am a dentist by profession, but have been a passionate woodturner for over 25 years now. In my earlier years I turned the utilitarian objects one thinks of as products of this craft like bowls, boxes etc. As my turning skills increased, I started experimenting with more ornamental turning. For a number of years I devoted most of my turning energies in a specialized branch of woodturning that has been given the name of segmented woodturning. While I found this form of woodturning interesting, ultimately I found it limiting. I wanted to create more sculptural objects. Over the past decade I have found my voice in creating objects that reflect my interests and my desire to create more sculptural work.

I have long had a passionate interest in the sciences, and by default, the math that underpins the science. My interests range from astrophysics and astronomy to quantum mechanics and string theory; from environmental science to microbiology and genetics. I have to admit that I just do not have the time and energy to devote to learning the math behind the science. I have a basic understanding of some math, but not enough to follow the convolutions of M Theory or the intricacies of minimal surfaces. Instead, I rely upon the gracious scientists who write books intended for the lay person. Though there is usually very little true math, the authors are adept enough to give an idea to the lay person the ideas being investigated using words in place of the more comprehensive math.

I am always intrigued when I come across something in the natural world that is the expression of a mathematical idea. The Fibonacci series of numbers is one of the ideas that truly intrigues me and I have explored it in many of my works of art. I am constantly coming across examples of the patterns it generates in the natural world around me. I am also inspired by fractals and how they can be expressed in nature. I find this is a more challenging idea to express in my art, but have a keen interest in it. I have found the structure of diatoms and radiolaria (or more appropriately their silica skeletons) and have been quite surprised how often a regular pattern is found. One such diatom that inspired one of my works was actually a Buckyball (truncated icosahedron), though a little more complex as it had more hexagons in its structure than the simple truncated icosahedron.

Lately I have been intrigued by the work of mathematicians and the results of their work which can be expressed visually. The internet has been key to my exploration of math art. I am not a math academic or privy to the world they inhabit. Certainly the work was out there and available, but one had to know of its existence enough to even seek it out. Now, with the internet, such exploration is so much easier and I find myself finding new forms and structures at the touch of a mouse. Mathematicians have also been generous to folks like me in providing programs that allow us to manipulate variables and generate 3D forms that I would have no chance arriving at using math alone.

I do not restrict my art to absolute representations of math, but math generally creeps into my work in some form. It may often be subtle, but I believe the subtle expression of mathematical ideas often adds a bit of order and enhances the beauty of my work.