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The "Equality" Story

This is related to an earlier piece titled, "Unity". Unity and equality are powerful words, and in my mind, very interrelated. I searched for a connection between this shape and the word "equality", because I really wanted to title this, "Equality". After much head scratching, my answer is "Magna Carta", a most noteworthy attempt in humanityís history at establishing equality. It established important individual rights that have a direct legacy to the American Bill of Rights as well as many other governments around the world. To this day, it is still occasionally "cited" in high court decisions.

So what is the connection? This may be a "stretch", but I have associated this form with the Magna Carta by using exactly 1215 pieces of wood, the year the document was written (45 triangular rings of 12 segments plus 45 rings of 15). There is also the symbolism of the "mobius", a symbol of balance and "oneness".

I first saw this shape many years ago, as a cover photo on my sonís calculus textbook. It was a bronze sculpture by Helaman Ferguson (he titled it, "Umbilic Torus NC"). I have since seen this shape utilized by several others, including John Robinson. The twisting nature of the torus creates one continuous edge and surface (not three), which, after three revolutions, returns to its starting point. Itís one thing to create this with a malleable material such as clay; itís quite another thing to do it with mitered wood (a painfully slow process). Just as with "Unity", I used my lathe to rough-shape all the concave surfaces before assembly.

Malcolm Tibbetts, 738 Modesto Ave, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150 malcolm@tahoeturner.com ©2004