This carving is my attempt to see and feel the Flower of Life in three dimensions. Based on a spherical icosahedron, with each of the original 20 triangular faces divided into 16 smaller triangles. It could be seen as a four frequency geodesic sphere, with small circles centered at each intersection.

# Flower of Life Sphere

- Post date September 8, 2011
- Post categories In Wood Carvings

- Post author By Adam
- Tags Flower of Life, sphere, Spherical Flower of Life

## 10 Comments

This is very cool. But my question is that the flower of life should have 6 lines or leafs as we should say it. But the one in the middle of the picture is showing 5 and rest is showing 6. HOW SO?

Other than that it looks very nice.

The center joins five because the geometry of the whole sphere is divided into an icosahedron, which contains 20 triangles that join in sets of five. Each of those original icosahedral triangles is further divided into 16 smaller triangles, all of which join in sets of 6. Of the 162 vertexes in this carving, 12 are 5’s, 150 are 6’s. The Flower of Life pattern is based on the triangular and hexagonal grid systems, which only work in a flat plane. The icosahedron which consists of all triangles that meet in 5’s seemed the closest way to see the Flower of Life in 3D. Through my studies in geometry, I have come to see 2D images as “shadows” of 3D forms. So when I see a wonderful pattern like the Flower of Life, I want to be able to roll it around in my hand, if not get inside of it.

And yeah, the icosahedron with it’s corners joining 5 isn’t a perfect spherical interpretation of the Flower of Life, but it’s about the most pleasing one I have yet seen. I will also give credit here to the spheres around each tetrahedron of the 64 Tetrahedron Grid that Nassim Haramein, etc., credit as being the 3D translation of the Flower of Life. When looking directly at one corner of the 64 tetrahedron with spheres, it indeed has the 6-way geometry of the Flower of Life. Although rotated around some more, the 64 tetrahedron looks a bit cubic, whereas the icosahedron at least is rounder all around, and round (circles) is what the Flower of Life is all about.

Blessings

Adam! I miss you….seeing this website is amazing. You’re doing beautiful and amazing artwork! My sister has this piece, I believe, and she really LOVES it. I also love the GardenStar with the photo of you on it (which really puts it into perspective on size) and with the peas growing up it. Awesome. Much love to you – I really miss the DB clan now that you’re all in Oregon. Hope to see you soon. Give hugs to all. xoxo, Julia

Thank you so much for this! I am exploring the possibility of making a hollow one of these and it is certainly necessary to have the 5-pointed vertices, but where I could not figure out. Thanks!!

Question for you: What is the ratio of a single circle to the overall dimention of the sphere?

the 12 vertices of 5 are the vertices of an icosahedron, which has 20 triangular faces. Just like geodesic domes are based on spherical icosahedra, then you sub-divide up icosa’s triangles into smaller and more numerous triangles. This carving is like a 4-frequency geodesic sphere, because the original edges of the spherical icosa (connecting a 5-vertex to a 5-vertex) are divided into 4 smaller segments, each a radius of a small circle. Thus the diameter of each small circle is one half the edge length of the spherical icosahedron.

This is fantastic. It would looks amazing painted! 🙂

I agree, it would look amazing painted. But I do just love seeing the wood grain and texture, to be reminded that this piece grew from the ground, as opposed to molded or 3D printed. But, beautiful is beautiful, no matter what.

This is amazing, I have been contemplating trying to do this in ceramic but have no idea how to even start such a feat !

Can you give me any advice on how to get started?

Thank you!

Ian, thank you for your interest. If you’d like a more detailed version, email me at ibladam@hotmail.com. But here’s the easiest way to explain how to get to a spherical FOL, starting with a sphere with a diameter we’ll call ‘a’. This diameter is the hypotenuse of a right triangle with sides in a golden ratio to each other, so we’ll call the sides ‘x’ and ‘1.618x’. The Pythagorean theorem states that ‘a squared’ plus ‘b squared’ equals ‘c squared’, where ‘c’ is the hypotenuse of a right triangle whose other two sides are ‘a’ and ‘b’. Working the Theorem with our x and 1.618x, as well as whatever diameter of sphere you’re working with as the ‘c’, gives us ‘x squared’ plus ‘2.618x squared’ equals your diameter squared, which is to say that 3.618x squared equals your diameter squared. Divide your squared diameter by 3.618, and then take the square root of that number, and that number is now what ‘x’ is equal to. That number is the distance between adjacent vertices on an icosahedron. Get a compass, set it to this length and draw a circle on your sphere. Put the center of the compass anywhere on that circle and draw another circle. Put the center of the compass where the circles intersect and repeat until you’ve gone all the way around the surface of the sphere. If your circles don’t all intersect like they should, you need to adjust the size of the circle, make it slightly bigger or smaller to make the circles all work out. Or if all of this makes zero sense to you, just eyeball it, adjust as necessary for desired accuracy and call it good. Good luck!