Antikythera Mechanism

Initial brainstorm

The initial brainstorming sessions for Mathemalchemy’s Bay were full of enthusiasm, with gusts of inspiration blowing in from all directions! Our seemingly inexhaustible ideas were motivated by knot theory and entanglement. However, all types of Math were welcome to dip their toes in the islands’ watery environs. I had heard about the discovery of an ancient computer years ago while residing in Greece. The mystery and connection to astronomy had me instantly hooked. It was the conversation topic during a beach session when friends found time-worn wheels and urns while snorkeling. We let our imaginations go wild with the where, how, and what-era questions the found items posed.

Antikythera Mechanism: an inspiring suggestion

When Ingrid suggested having the Antikythera Mechanism somewhere in the Knotical scene, I dove for the chance to recreate one. Information and photographs of the pieces are prevalent these days. So much more is known now about the profound relics since scientists have made significant progress in figuring out the device’s abilities just in the last couple of years. 


I excitedly, albeit with much bewilderment, approached the fabrication of the piece, wondering what materials to use. Sketches and experimentation with various materials eventually gave way to using polymer clay.

Next, I focused on making “Fragment A”; the most prominent and recognizable piece recovered. I rolled out thin layers of clay and traced the shape of the mechanism with a razor cutter. I placed one layer on top of another, then craved and sculpted the piece to the likeness of the original artifact as best I could. After baking the clay, I painted on patinas and shadows to show some of the inner workings and age of the artifact. The final stage will be to place the antiquity in the bay of Mathemalchemy, where it will await being discovered time and again.

Antikythera Mechanism
Left, original artefact. Right, Tasha Pruitt reproduction placed in the bay of Mathemalchemy.

Published by Tasha Pruitt

Tasha’s inspiration for various expressions in visual art is driven by nature, science, travel, the human experience, and the wonder of the cosmos. As most artists do, she knew from childhood that she wanted to make art. Despite not having an institutional education, she values the infinity of knowledge and is a student of life. She has worked with countless talented creators along the way. Her practice is informed by painters, musicians, sculptors, photographers, storytellers, make-up artists, scholars, fashion designers, tattoo artists, chefs… to name a few. She uses those skills with honor and relishes continuing the learning process every day while passing along the knowledge absorbed.