Christoph Ohler

Wuppertal, Germany

The well-known Möbius-strip found in many math books often looks odd, difficult to understand, or worse: uninteresting. Adding symmetry, duplication, and creative elements such as knotted-ness, a single-sided structure can be created that looks far more interesting and aesthetically pleasing. With my work, I am exploring the possibilities of building sculptures from steel sheet metal, using only basic hand tools and a welder. The results are often intriguing shapes that represent 2-manifold surfaces embedded in 3-dimensional Euclidean space. They can even provide some intuitive ideas of what bending of higher-dimensional space may mean.

60 x 35 x 25 cm

Taking flat steel sheet metal as raw material, this sculpture was hand-build by cutting out the appropriate curvy shapes, and then bending, welding, grinding, and polishing them. The surface is composed of eight connected Möbius-strips. It has three rotational C2 axes at right angles to one another. When viewed from different angles, the appearance changes dramatically due to the alignment of different elements, ranging from an almost completely filled-in piece of surfaces, to some thin curvy-linear profiles.

Steel allows to build very thin yet rigid sculptures. The ratio of total height to surface thickness (3mm) is very high.

27 x 27 x 16 cm

Starting from only a tube segment and a flat plate, this sculpture has been handmade by cutting out two 5-fold symmetrical pieces, bending the ten ribbons around a cylindrical shape, and welding their ends together. This creates an interesting single-sided 2-manifold with just two border curves. The overall symmetry and the basic toroidal shape makes it easy to understand and remember this geometry. In this sculpture, I have used 5mm thick steel to give it a particularly strong look.