Curio Shop – Fabrication

Curio Shop


First building in Mathemalchemy

The shop building was the first Mathemalchemy structure that was physically built; it featured in a poster in honor of John Conway, shown at the Princeton memorial held in Fall 2020 celebrating his life (read Conway’s Curios). It was designed together with the Bakery by Dominique Ehrmann, and built out of wood (with slight modifications) by Edmund Harriss with a CNC milling machine, which was also used to carve the Harriss spiral in the narrow inside wall behind the shopkeeper. Edmund designed and built the shopkeeper’s perch, the shop sign and the window sill boxes as well, using laser cut plywood. 

Curio’s Shopkeeper

The shopkeeper was designed and made in ceramics by Liz Paley; its decoration with small Harriss spirals was realized with the help of small wooden stamps made out of laser-cut plywood by Edmund. The borromean rings next to the shopkeeper, woven out of reeds, are made by Liz as well. 

Borromean rings by Liz

Objects in Conway’s Curios

Origami ovoid by Faye

The origami ovoid on the top in the left window was made by Faye Goldman using the modular snapology technique. On the floor in the shop stands a bowl with beautiful versions of carpet-beater Celtic knots, also fashioned by Faye. 

Carpet-beater Celtic knots
Carpet-beater Celtic knots by Faye

The beaded bead hanging next to the snapology ovoid was made by Gwen Fisher. The wooden object with dodecahedral symmetry was fabricated by Edmund Harriss out of cherry, with a 5-axis CNC router, using software that he wrote for the purpose (and that he will be able to use many more wondrous objects). The DNA fragment was beaded by Tasha Pruitt. The Conway knot was bead crocheted by Susan Goldstine; the metal Klein bottle is made by BathSheba Grossmann. The second Klein bottle in the store is truly hand-blown out of glass, by Cliff Stohl.

Left window of Conway’s Curios
Beaded polyhedral structure
Beaded polyhedral structure by Gwen Fisher
Conway Knot by Susan Goldstine
Conway knot by Susan
Front window of Conway’s Curios

The sea star in jewel-tone beads standing against the window box was beaded by Kathy Peterson. 

In the right front window, the Moebius band (top), the small torus (bottom left) and the larger halved torus (bottom middle) are all in ceramics, and made by Liz, as were the golden spiral tiles and coasters on the floor, near the door. The copy of Alexander’s Horned Sphere (top) was realized via 3D-printing by Sabetta Matsumoto, as was the one being pilfered by OctoPi’s son. The hepta-hyperboloid (bottom, right) was designed by Nick Bruscia and Dan Vrana, who also cut it from a coarse-grained brick using very narrow high-powered (and straight!) water jets. 

The Hopf fibration structure at the top of the narrow right-most window is a 3D print designed by Henry Segerman and printed by Shapeways.

The designs for the mat in front of the door and the wallhanging were made in collaboration by Susan and Mary William. Mary cross-stitched the mat; the fabric for the wallhanging was printed by Spoonflower and then quilted by Mary. 

Symmetry mice Susan Goldstine
Wallhanging design by Susan

The lighting inside the store was designed and installed by Edmund. 

The Voronoi cell paving was designed by Ingrid, fabricated by Dominique out of fabric and then (imperfectly) placed by Ingrid, pinning down each fabric “paver” with a thumbtack indicating the corresponding point in the Voronoi diagram defining the paving.

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