Friday, October 5, 2007

Math and Art or "a flash from the past"



A little diversion from polymer clay...
I was talking to my son, Tim, last night - my 19 year old math wizard - and he mentioned wanting to look into where math and art connect.

I was suddenly reminded of one of my very favorite toys from my youth. SPIROGRAPH!!


We even had Super Spirograph....

You put one of the big circles or long pieces on the base board (a piece of something cardboard-like), stuck little pins in the holes (gasp! unsafe!), put a disc down so its little teeth connected with the teeth of the circle or long piece, put the point of your pen into one of the holes in the disc and ran the disc around the inside/outside of that circle/long piece.

Oh, the fabulous designs you could make!! Change pen colors, shift the base piece...

Well, there was the issue of the pins coming loose... the teeth skipping... but well worth the trouble...

They don't make 'em like that any more, due to safety issues.
Shoot, the toy was not meant for small children - but we must protect children from negligent parents, I guess... hey, I remember a creepy crawlers set that got hot enough to burn and cause blisters like an iron if you weren't careful... amazing I survived childhood, what with monkey bars on concrete playgrounds and no seat belts or car seats as an infant... but I digress...

If you have the desire to play with a spirograph online, you can go here or here. Not quite the same, but close enough for horseshoes!

2 comments:

Chris said...

I love Spirograph! Tell Tim to look into fractuals if he's interested in math and art.

Chris

Corinne said...

My kids and I spent way more hours then I care to think about playing with the Spirograph. It was so much fun, they still remember the time we spent sticking it to the coffee table (a piece of painted plywood across some decorative cement blocks).

Now that I am older I also understand that there is a whole lot of "educational things" involved with "Sacred Geometry" that I wasn't aware of then.

An old friend has spent a number of years studying it. Although she's super involved I've not looked into it much.