Martin Levin

retired high school math teacher
Portland, Oregon, USA
I received a Ph.D. in mathematics from Johns Hopkins University. For most of my career I taught high school math in Waldorf schools where the pedagogy encourages the bridging of mathematics and art. I'm now retired. The Platonic solids are quite simple geometric forms, and yet, as one contemplates them and builds up the forms in one's mind, they become quite captivating. By aligning two or more Platonic solids with some order 3 axes coinciding and varying the relative sizes, one finds an endless supply of wonderful geometric relationships, which I explore in my geometric sculptures.
Compound of Five Tetrahedra in Bronze
Compound of Five Tetrahedra in Bronze
36 x 36 x 36 cm
The five tetrahedra together have 20 vertices which form the vertices of a regular dodecahedron; imagine it enveloping the whole form. The 20 faces of the five tetrahedra form the faces of a regular icosahedron; imagine it at the center of the whole form. This model is used to prove that the rotation group of the icosahedron is the group of even permutations of five objects. This sculpture is hollow with 6 mm thick walls. I cast it in bronze in two halves, and then welded the two halves together. I experimented with modifications of the ancient lost wax method to make the castings. Finish-grinding the concavities is challenging.