Bob Rollings

Wood Turner/Artist

Scarborough, Ontario, Canada


My interest in geometry stems from a lifetime spent in the cabinet making industry. Initially I worked as a hands on craftsman and later in a supervisory position which comprised of interpreting designer/architectural concepts and turning them into practical and beautiful pieces. After my retirement, I turned my interest in geometry into a hobby using wood as a medium. My investigation and interpretation of the platonic solids has been influenced by Johannes Kepler, Luca Pacioli, Leonardo Da Vinci, M.C. Escher and later by Buckminster Fuller and Donald Coxeter. After exhibiting some of my work at the Fields Institute, I was invited to share space in Donald’s Coxeter’s showcase in the department of Mathematics at the University of Toronto. Using a lathe as my primary tool gives me a more individualistic approach to the study and presentation of polyhedra.


Image for entry 'Fun with Polyhedra'

Fun with Polyhedra

Originally 4" to 9" spheres



All of these polyhedra were originally spheres and lathe turned using hand held turning tools. They were held in a cup chuck and each face in turn was faceted then hollowed out to a precise depth leaving the centre spike in place. When all faces have been addressed in this manner, the centre core which replicates the outer surface, is released and has independent movement. The five platonic solids and icosidodecahedron shown here are: • Tetrahedron: made of Becote from a 4” diameter sphere • Hexahedron: made of Babinga from a 4” diameter sphere • Octahedron: made of Cocabola from a 4” diameter sphere • Dodecahedron: made of Cocabola from a 4” diameter sphere • Icosahedron: made from a Thura burl from a 5” diameter sphere • Icosidodecahedron: made of Maple from a 9” diameter sphere
Image for entry 'An Easter Island Conference'

An Easter Island Conference

Originally 4" to 5" spheres



These are second generation streptohedrons and express a hollowed out version of their predecessors. I am choosing to give them the generic name of incurve streptohedrons. They have been hand tuned in two pairs of two as curved funnel shapes then split apart and reassembled in their current form. From left to right they are: • White maple with black textured engraving – 3 ¾” diameter • Brazilian rosewood – 3 3/4” diameter • Satinwood – 5” diameter