Phil Webster

Phil Webster Design
Pittsfield, MA

All of my work stems from one core impulse: to celebrate the inherent beauty of mathematical forms. These forms appear all around us—in trees and crystals, in dunes and flowers, in ancient temples and modern skyscrapers. Rather than directly depict these outer manifestations, I explore the abstract forms underlying it all—polyhedra, fractals, tessellations, lattices. There is something sacred in the creation and viewing of these forms that allows me to meditate on the infinite patterns present in the deep structure of our world.

Since traveling to India in 2012, I have been particularly focused on blending traditional Islamic motifs with polyhedra and fractals. The results are distinctly Islamic in flavor but with a modern twist.

Islamic 12-Pointed Star
7″ x 7″ x 7″
3D Printed Composite

This 12-pointed star shape is formed by a cluster of 12 zonohedra generated from the vertex directions of the dodecahedron. I then decorated the surfaces of the star with an Islamic geometric star pattern based on five- and ten-fold symmetries. Since the rhombi that form the faces of the star are not made up of angles like 36 or 72 degrees (as many people assume), the pattern had to be subtly adjusted to fit the surface, but the distortions are small enough not to be apparent - a common technique in traditional Islamic geometric constructions.

Once the piece was designed, I created it using a 3D printer that prints in full color using a plaster-based composite. Hence the colors are inherently part of the object, not applied afterwards.

Infinity Flower III
24" x 24"
Digital print on aluminum

This work is part of my Fractal Islamic Pattern series. Using techniques of my own creation, I take traditional Islamic motifs (in this case, a 10-sided rosette) and combine them in fractal arrangements at infinite scales. In this case, the fractal progression starts from a central ring of 10 rosettes (in dark red) and proceeds both inward and outward (towards bright yellow). In the center, the tiling shrinks in a neat star-like pattern, but around the edges a complicated fractal boundary emerges.