For a long time I have been fascinated by M C Escher’s lithographs of impossible structures and tessellations. When I discovered that he had made a few wood carvings I decided to attempt a version of his “fish sphere sculpture”. Not content with that, I decided to use four different woods, sycamore, cherry, walnut and sapele!
It took me weeks to work out how he had managed to tessellate twelve fish onto the surface of a sphere. I am indebted to Pat Flynn who turned a sphere of MDF and the twelve shallow bowls from which the individual fish were carved.
You can scroll through the pictures below to see the concave, MDF core, and bowls:
After much trial and error (mostly error) I was able to make a plaster template of the fish and transfer the design onto the sphere and the inner surfaces of the bowls. It was then a matter of cutting out the shapes, gluing them onto the sphere AND MAKING THEM FIT!
Then I started carving. It took me five years! Days of intense concentration followed by months of frustration.