Making Maths Beautiful

Don’t worry this isn’t a post about equations and theorems. It’s about what happens when a talented silversmith gets their hands on a big sheet of metal and some maths equations!

Benjamin Storch, Mobius, Copper
Benjamin Storch, Mobius, Copper

This is the work of Welsh based metalsmith Benjamin Storch. He works in sheet silver and other metals to create these amazing flowing forms. The work is based on different mathematical programmes and equations which he often uses to generate ideas. This piece is based on work by the German mathematician August Ferdinand Mobius and what is known as Mobius strip.

The process involves sketching the piece out and then creating a model on the computer. The metal is then cut and formed by hand to create these forms. These curves are created by a complex forming technique know as anticlastic forming, whereby the central surface areas are compressed and the peripheral areas are stretched.

Synclastic Raising
Synclastic Raising
Synclastic Sinking
Synclastic Sinking
Anticlastic Forming
Anticlastic Forming

Apart from the beauty of the work, the really interesting thing about this process is that it can be traced back to Celtic torcs which are now on display in the National Museum. The Irish Silversmith Brian Clarke and American Michael Good did research on the manufacture of these torcs. It just shows the levels of craftsmanship in these early pieces and that anticlastic forming is not new to the silversmithing world.

This was a pleasant surprise for me. I didn’t think when I started looking at Benjamin Storch’s work and maths, I’d end up back with a piece that can be found in the National Museum! I can’t find a decent picture of the torc but I’m planning a trip to the Dublin next week so I’ll pop in and take one.

Benjamin Storch, Copper
Benjamin Storch, Copper

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