Amazing sculptures (or: what I want for Christmas)

Have you seen anything like this before?



I thought not. How about this?

Universal Clef

Universal Clef

These are the work of Bathsheba Grossman, who describes herself as “an artist exploring math and science in sculpture”.

My first reaction to seeing these and her other handheld sculptures was to want them. All of them.

They are beautiful, sometimes complex, and very satisfying. They seem to me to be what the artists who did Celtic knowtwork designs would have produced if they’d had three dimensions to work in and had seen M. C. Escher’s more geometrical drawings.

My second thought was that these shapes are impossible to make: imagine trying to carve one, or to produce a mould to cast one…

My third thought was that she had, however, made them. Otherwise she wouldn’t be offering them for sale. So off I went to her technique page to find out how on earth they’re done.

They are indeed impossible to make by traditional processes. Although Bathsheba will typically make a plasticine model as a starting point, the actual sculpture is produced by first using CAD software to define its precise shape, and then using 3-D printing process to make the actual object. This involves building the sculpture up layer by layer from powdered metal. A few more stages turn this into a solid metal sculpture.

To find out more about these and other works of hers, visit her website. Then buy one of each and send them to me for Christmas…

You’ll also find some remarkable internally-etched blocks of glass, containing such things as a genuinely 3-D map of our nearby stars… Beautiful stuff.


  • Photos used by permission. Do not re-use without linking to and crediting the artist.
  • Bathsheba describes her glass pieces as “modelling three-dimensional data” and mentions here that she’s interested in suggestions for further such pieces–see her site for details.

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