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Submitted on
February 22, 2010
Image Size
169 KB


103 (who?)

Camera Data

Canon PowerShot A640
Shutter Speed
1/501 second
Focal Length
13 mm
Date Taken
Dec 6, 2009, 10:44:02 PM
Chambered Nautilus Shell+base by ou8nrtist2 Chambered Nautilus Shell+base by ou8nrtist2
As some of you may know ,I am a metal sculptor who often uses Sacred Geometry in my art and constructions.
I have tackled the challenge of making a (large) NAUTILUS SHELL in stainless steel. I started from the premise that it represented the PHI or Fibonacci spiral. I plotted the spiral on a large piece of paper to make a pattern for the cutting of the metal sheet to make up the two sides of the creatures shell. I have a small sliced REAL nautilus shell,and I placed it on the pattern and simply couldn't find where it mated up...This was rather vexing I can tell you. I'd heard pretty much since I began my studies in Sacred Geometry through the popular literature that the nautilus shell was the QUINTESSENTIAL example of the Fibonacci spiral,but when it came time to accomplish this construction the spiral DID NOT MATCH THE PHI SPIRAL.
Here's a link to a short paper published by the British mathematician John Sharp explaining why...

It turns out the Chambered Nautilus shell DOES NOT represent the Fibonacci Spiral but rather a logarithmic spiral based on 3. In the article above there is a comparison of the two spirals showing clearly that they are NOT congruent.
I think the fact that there is so much popular literature stating that the Nautilus represents the Fibonacci spiral or the Golden Spiral is simply a case of so many people accepting what is written without actually questioning it. And if there is a certain number of people who accept it as truth,it no longer bears the scrutiny of inquisitive minds. Had I not built an actual sculpture of this fantastic and wonderful form,I never would have questioned it myself. But when I completed the first Nautilus(based on the Fibonacci Spiral),it was so obviously distorted I knew something was wrong...So this one you see here is my second attempt and actually conforms to the REAL spiral evident in the Chambered Nautilus shell.
As with the first one, I made a paper pattern(this time off a real nautilus shell),overlaid it on two pre-formed bowl shapes in stainless steel.
after cutting the mirror image spirals with my plasma cutter,I formed a tapering strip that connects the two sides and is welded all the way round the form,ground and polished. The stand is made from mild steel and I turned OFF the shielding gas on my wire feed welder in order to encrust and carbeurize the surface.Turning off the shielding gas allows oxygen to combine in the weldment. the steel literally burns and the weldment becomes quite porous. I then used a spray bottle of copper sulfate in solution,spraying it on the work as I heated areas with the torch and sort of burned it in. I was trying to get an effect as if it had been beneath the sea for a very long time and had only recently been retrieved...
I would like to stress at this point that the fact that the Nautilus Pompilius does not conform to the Fibonacci Spiral does not in any way reduce our fascination or admiration with such an exquisite form. To my eye nearly ALL logarithmic spirals are gorgeous,remind one of Nature ,and as such are Sacred.
Sacred Geometry is about a PATTERN in the known Universe of structure and proportion. It is NOT about obsessive adherence to arcane laws that counter critical OBSERVATION and REASON.
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fractalhead Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2013
lovely work
DPBJewelry Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2011
I have degrees in both math and engineering and you almost lost me on the explanation (almost...). Sacred or natural or perfectly non-perfect, this is really exquisite, the stand almost as awesome as the focal piece. Truly an artist, making the whole presentation so eye catching.
ou8nrtist2 Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2011  Professional
Thank you Dusty...
magbhitu Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2011
great patina technique with the base btw. i've used feric nitrate on steel but never coppric to such a dramatic effect. i'll add that to the bag of tricks for sure- thanks.
ou8nrtist2 Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2011  Professional
Thank you,
Here in wine country (Sonoma county)Copper sulfate is prevalent and readily available as a fungicide.The patina I did on this piece is very unstable (turns to rust) unless you spray it with a lacquer almost immediately.
Somebodylost Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2011  Student Digital Artist
ou8nrtist2 Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2011  Professional
Thank you.
artcreater784 Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2011
i personally like this one better than the other
ou8nrtist2 Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2011  Professional
I actually have another smaller one I've made that's also less "finished".It definitely has it's own aesthetic.
I'll post it soon and you can compare the two...but i totally get what you mean...
Skipyau Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2010
I've cited this/you as reference to the subtle inaccuracy of the Golden Ratio's application to nature in an essay on the Italian Renaissance that I've written for my course.
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