Elliott A. Best

Graduate Student
University of California Riverside
Riverside, CA

'Bounded by the Trefoil' is a Seifert Surface (bounded by the trefoil). The mathematical construction was done with Seifert's Algorithm and the freedom of design inherent in topological surfaces. The sculpture is based on a copper mesh frame with paper mache and acrylic paint. Contrasting black and blue colors are used to highlight the distinct sides of this orientable surface.

Bounded By the Trefoil
24 x 12 x 12 cm
Copper Mesh, Paper Mache

My piece, a Seifert Surface, is an orientable surface whose boundary is the trefoil knot. While studying knot theory as an undergraduate, I enjoyed the natural beauty in the patterns of knots. This beauty certainly carries over in adding a surface between the curves. I chose the trefoil as my starting knot because it seems that most often when nature is beautiful, the mathematics is simple. In creating a physical model, I found a deeper appreciation for the particular character of the trefoil knot.