Dice نرد

Dice: Acrylic on wood, laser-cut, hand-assembled, painted and varnished. Base: Solid walnut, steam-bent and hand-carved. Total size approx. 51x51x57 cm (cube alone 36x36x36 cm).

Date30 August 2015

Numbers and geometry come to the fore in this piece, where the numerical quality of the Arabic characters is remembered.
The basic idea is simple: replacing the dots on the faces of a dice with the first six letters: و ه د ج ب ا. I developed each letter into a Square Kufi pattern, all six of them being strictly harmonized, then assigned a different colour to each letter, so that the humble dice is elevated to a whole new degree of visual interest and dynamic interaction of shapes. But the basic structure of the object is respected: the letters that add up to 7 are placed opposite each other. Like a proper dice, the piece has no bottom and can be turned on any side. Because each face is assigned a different colour, each angle of view offers a different colour palette, and the piece can be repositioned at will on the base.

The base was designed with, and fashioned by Josh Cranswick, craftsman and wood sculptor. It is a piece of art in its own right, that takes the concept of number further, into the realm of geometry, which is “number unfolding in space.” The three ribs supporting the dice are the visible parts of the virtual sphere which encompasses the cube. The projection of a sphere on a flat plane is, of course, a circle, while that of a cube is, perhaps more surprisingly, a hexagon: this projection is given tangible form in the base, where a hexagon is carved out of a circle. Thus all parts of the piece are in relationship to one another, with Arabic letters and geometric shapes brought together by Number.

Six sides for six distinct colour palettes:

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A penny for your thoughts...