Expanding Your Horizons In Math And Science – Lewis Carroll And Art

This past weekend I had the opportunity, once again, to present with my wonderful friend and studio helper Allison Gonzalez at the Houston Expanding Your Horizon’s Conference for teenage girls.
“Expanding Your Horizons Network is known as the preeminent source for resources and experiences that provide focused engagement of middle school girls from all backgrounds in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).” Of course–I am an artist and understand the importance of having an A (art) in the STEM curriculum. I am a proponent of STEAM.

I titled my topic- “Art, Technology, Medicine, Math, and Literature”

A digital quick sketch of the proposed sculpture “Move One Place On.” I am excited about this piece. I can’t reveal the name of the park until later, but it is a Texas Park. Come have lunch with the Mad Hatter and his gang, as these folks are doing in the scene.
There is geometry behind my digital sculptures. A great resource for learning about this is through Guerrilla CG videos such as this one on Subdivision Surface Overview.

It was a lot to cover but with my newest art project I could cover it all. I am creating a monumnetal sculpture of the Mad Hatter’s Tea party. I talked about how I created this presentation in the computer using digital programs and also how I work in the studio using traditional and digital processes just as I featured in my new book 3D Technology in Fine Art and Craft: Exploring 3D Printing, Scanning, Sculpting and Milling Focal Press 2015.

The girls learned about 3D printing and that some of the miniature items that I will be hiding in my monumental sculpture will be created in the computer and by a 3D printer.

We talked a bit about Lewis Carroll and that this is the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland and about how Charles Dodgson ,the real man behind the pen name of Lewis Carroll, was a mathematician. I shared some of the secret math and other things that are in his cool stories. I then shared the math/geometry and code behind my digital artwork.

The girls learned that 3D printing is done
with code and created in layers.
They played with a layer puzzle.

The girls learned about 3D printing and how it works in layers and the many different applications of 3D printing.

The girls played with pin art and learned that collecting points on their hand can create a replica of their hand. If they had smaller pins or points they would collect more detail.

We looked at how 3D scanning works with both laser and light and used pin art to see how the pins made a replica of our hand.I posed the question,  if I had smaller and more pins would the detail of the hand be better or worse?
Some of the girls that also attended my presentation last year remember using photogrammetry and a cell phone to scan their feet

We learned that the artwork in the computer is made up of polygons. Then we were able to make our own 3 dimensional item by using polygons.

We looked at how geometry works in the computer, about the underlying mesh of a 3d piece of art and how if we add more squares to a mesh we are able to sculpt more detail, but we must use more computer memory.
The girls got to see lots of 3D printed pieces and even took one home thanks to the generosity of Lulzbot.

Digital Model of the March Hare for the monumental bronze sculpture.

Finally the girls made a Dodecahedron [doh-dek-uh-hee-druh n,]. We Provided a free printable on the Alice In Wonderland Website.
The girls were provided with a list of links that they could use to help them learn about math, 3D and explore on the computer. Below are the links I shared.

While speaking at 3D Printer World Expo
I met the people at Lulzbot. They are all
about education and generously donated
some 3D prints that I could give the girls.

The girls came in and out of the room to a series of videos. My choice videos for this presentation were
The Making of the movie Paranorman using 3D Printing

Derby the Dog how a dog got legs using a 3D printer

And another on how they are using 3D printers for body parts

3D Printer Replaces body parts

 LINKS GIVEN TO GIRLS – These are from my book 3D Technology in Fine Art and Craft…

Art, Technology, Medicine, Math, and Literature –by Bridgette Mongeon

Be curious- Think Impossible things.

Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.”

“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

If you want to investigate 3D Technology further, below you will find information and websites. 

www.digitalsculpting.net  My website on my book and digital technology

www.creativesculpture.com My fine art website.

Free or Inexpensive Gems that Encourage Individuals to Play with Math.

Knot Plot Helps to visualize knots http://www.knotplot.com/download

Surface Evolver Visualizes minimal surfaces http://www.susqu.edu/brakke/evolver/evolver.html

TopMod  A topological mesh modeler   http://www.viz.tamu.edu/faculty/ergun/research/topology

SeifertView Visualization of Seifert Surfaces http://www.win.tue.nl/~vanwijk/seifertview/

Excellent tutorials on geometry and computation http://www.christopherwhitelaw.us/?p=567

Blender Free- open source 3D Modeling, animating and much more http://www.blender.org *Sculptris Free http://pixologic.com/sculptris Hard surface and organic.

*Daz Studio 3D Free http://www.daz3d.com

Other Free Fun Stuff
JWEEL Free browser based jewelry design program https://www.jweel.com/en/
Autodesk 123 Series Free http://www.123dapp.com/
123D Catch- Scan from your cell phone
123D CNC-Create files for CNC milling
123D Creature- Create creatures using this app
123D Design – Create 3D models using this free app
123D Make – Helps you to make physical models out of designs.  123D Sculpt – Sculpt using your iPad
123D Meshmixer – helps to prepare your files for 3D printing
123D Tinkercad- helps you to design 3D object for printing

Learn Code for Art Processing 2 http://processing.org/
The Annotated Alice Lewis Carroll, John Tenniel, Martin Gardner editor

Bridgette Mongeon is a sculptor, writer, illustrator and educator as well as a public speaker.

Her blog can be found at https://creativesculpture.com.

Follow the artists on Twitter  twitter.com/Sculptorwriter

Follow me on Facebook

Listen to the Art and Technology Podcast

Leave a Comment