Bakery – Fabrication



The Bakery was a component of the installation that was proposed fairly early on. Its original blueprint was drawn by Dominique Ehrmann; it was later slightly adapted by Edmund Harriss, to bring angles in more complete harmony with pentagonal symmetry. It was built out of wood by Edmund and Gavin Smith.

The design of the Bakery side-wall, oven side-wall and oven roof are all due to Edmund, who also fabricated the two sidewalls and the wooden mold for the roof. The roof itself was made in ceramics by Liz Paley, using Edmund’s mold.

The hepto-hyperboloid chimney of the roof (also present as an object in the Curio Store) was made by Nick Bruscia and Dan Vrana; this version is in wood.

Roof of the Bakery
Heptagons in the Bakery (sidewall and oven roof)

The pentagonal cut-out window above the door of the Bakery was realized by Edmund out of plywood using laser cutting. 

Decoration of the front window
Decoration of the front window

The brickwork in the bakery and the stonework outside were both fabricated by Edmund, and point to traditional brick constructions in Durham NC and to stonework on traditional buildings at Duke University. The bricklaying shows both Flemish bond (top band) and American bond (band below it, just above oven door). The walls were milled out of wood by Edmund; the truly impressive painting of these walls is due to Bronna Butler (brickwork) and Sabetta Matsumoto (stonework). 

The wooden furniture (shelves, stool, cart) was designed by Ingrid and Edmund; the components were laser cut and assembled by Edmund. We originally planned to make the table top and its supports in ceramics, but when we serendipitously found these at the Durham Scrap Exchange on one of our foraging expeditions there, we immediately adopted them.

Marjorie Rice’s tiling for the floor was stitched on fabric by Dominique and then varnished. 

The wheel of the cart and the  “cast iron” door of the oven were designed by Ingrid, and fabricated by her out of polymer clay, with 3D-printing help from Henry Segerman to make the molds pressed into the polymer clay for the decoration. She also used polymer clay to make the cookie dough and rolling pin, as well as the finished pastries (croissants, pi cookies, and mandelbrots) in the cart.

Ingrid painting Pi cookies
5-fold symmetry on the wheel of the outside cart

The TSP design of the oven furnace grille was made specially for Mathemalchemy by TSP Art master Bob Bosch the grille was laser cut by Edmund. 

The mouse wallpaper design is by Susan Goldstine. She knitted it and beaded it by hand using a 1.5 mm knitting needle and a 0.75 mm crochet hook. The color pattern is double knitted so that a color-reversed mouse design is (mostly) hidden on the back of the wallpaper; on the Terrace one can see a glimpse of the back. 
Read If You Give a Mouse Some Symmetries by Susan Goldstine

  • Bakery symmetry wall

Liz Paley playfully made the transformation mouse → cup → tortoise on the display cart during one of the group meetings, and we decided to keep it!

5-fold symmetry on the wheel of the outside cart

The painting on the Bakery wall of a train steaming along on a surface is by Conan Wu; the mold and train on the shelf that refer to it were fabricated by Liz in ceramics, as were all the bowls in the Bakery.

Painting of the train in the Bakery
Schroedinger equation on the rims of the bowls in the Bakery
Schroedinger equation on the rims of the bowls in the Bakery

The towels on the top shelf were woven by Mary Williams, who also provided the small wooden pot on top of the shelves.

Mandelbrot Set in the Bakery

The Mandelbrot set reproductions on the Bakery wall and for the doorknob were both fabricated by Edmund: the doorknob was laser cut out of plywood; for the wall-painting he laser cut a stencil in mylar, that Tasha Pruitt then used for painting.

Baker Arnold’s head is made in ceramics by Liz; his body was manufactured by Mary, Dominique and Stephan LaCourse. His assistant Mo[u]se’s body was needle-felted by Gabie LaCourse. Both the baker and his assistant were expertly dressed by Kathy Peterson, who also embroidered their names on their outfits.

Read more about the Bakery

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