Paul Calter

Professor of Mathematics, retired
Vermont Technical College
Randolph Center, VT, USA

I make geometric sculptures from stone, wood, and metal, mostly steel. I work both in the round and in two dimensions, but lately I’ve been enjoying carving marble reliefs, such as “Lover’s Knot.” The art historian Kenneth Clarke has written that “low relief is the beautiful frontier between drawing and sculpture,” and it’s at that frontier that I feel most comfortable.

Mandala III: Lover's Knot
Mandala III: Lover's Knot
43 x 43 x 5 cm
White Vermont marble

This marble design is called an endless or Lover's knot, and is from a church in Pethshire, Scotland.

The inner square has the same area as the circle; an example of Squaring the Circle, albeit by measurement and not by construction. The inner edge of the frame, a square whose side equals the diagonal of the inner square, has twice the area of the circle. The two squares form a classical ad quadratum figure.

The whole is a mandala, a meditative device, and stone carving is a slow, meditative process. Thus using a meditative process to produce a meditative device unites both process and product, for me a meaningful experience.