Math IS Real Life – October 2014 Edition: woodworking

It’s the first Wednesday of October which means it’s time for our monthly linky – Math IS Real Life!!  If you want to see how the linky works, or just want other real world math ideas, check out our Pinterest Board of all the posts so that you can look back and find some great ideas and REAL pictures to use in your classroom!  
If you are linking up, please include the below picture AND a link back to all four of our blogs – feel free to use the 2nd image and the links listed below!
A monthly REAL WORLD math blog link-up hosted by
Recently two of my girl friends and I went to the Apple Harvest Festival.  As we were walking through the vendors one of the “crafts” caught my eye….
I mean, really, how could the above butcher’s block NOT catch my eye, right?  At first I decided to let it go and just walk through the rest of the vendors with my friends… I didn’t want to be ‘that nerd’ again 🙂 but as we were walking back, I just couldn’t help myself.  We stopped in, and I struck up a conversation with Scott (the creator).  I told him about my blog and asked his permission to post his beautiful creations.  He was very excited about how I saw the math and wanted to show me more.  He grabbed a photo album and showed me some pictures of each of the steps (drool!)
Here you can see how he made long rods of trapezoids connected in a triangular pattern.  He also had to create his own vices to fit around the triangles as triangle is not a typical shape that vices hold.
Slide4Once he had the rods made, he sliced each into many triangles that he was able to tessellate around the board.  Check out the image below… same as above but with a few triangles emphasized.  See how everything fits together now?
See why I was falling in love with these butcher blocks?  So mathematical…. so intricate… so AMAZING!
Here is another creation of Scott’s.  Can you see how this one was created?
See the strip that I highlighted?  Scott made 16 of those strips and alternated them by flipping from one end to the other. This created the pattern.  \
The above image was my favorite board and I am having serious remorse over not purchasing it…. I’m seriously thinking about emailing Scott (see info at the end) and seeing if it’s still available!  Anything that you are thinking about as much as I am a month later has a purpose….
This one may not look as mathematical, but being able to do a growing/shrinking pattern in both directions is quite the feat.  This piece was absolutely gorgeous…. I hope he still has it!
Here’s the side view of one of the boards below.  Each color is a different type of wood.  Each color and width adds to the pattern that Scott creates.  Each piece is truly a one-of-a-kind.
LOVE  how even the “simplest” pattern looks extraordinary!  I also can’t wait to show these pictures to my teachers to use with their geometry lessons this year.  Can you imagine having students attempt to recreate the patterns using strips for efficiency…. hmmmm I need to play with that more!
Slide11If you are interested in looking at Scott’s work, click the picture above to go to their website.  The images I have here aren’t on there, sadly, but they do have other items for sale.  I do hope you enjoyed the amazing woodwork Scott created and that they brought just a bit of mathematical joy to you!Don’t forget to check out the other MIRL posts below!  Check back over the next few days – more will be added!!

Categories: #mirl, geometry and measurement, math is real life, mathematical reasoning, and patterns, functions and algebra.


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