In this Instructable you'll learn to make a beautiful geometric form, the small stellated dodecahedron, out of snow. Since we don't have to tell YOU that kanevvluk (Eskimo for "fine snow/rain particles") is the supreme material, grab some mittenfulls of the wet white stuff and let's get crackin.
Well, first we need to make a hollow 5-part mold out of steel, so grab your welding mittens and let's get crackin!
Step 1: Stellated Snowdecahedra - the Pieces
Cut yourself a pattern, tessellate them out on a strip of steel, and slice them up with your method of choice. I used the hydraulic shear at my friendly neighborhood makerspace, but jump shear and plasma cutter are fine alternatives.
In total you'll need 50 triangles, but having extra is always nice. For this size mold that comes to about 3 sq ft of steel, and I chose a healthy-looking crop of 16-gauge.
Step 2: Stellated Snowdecahedra - Welding the Cones
Lather rinse repeat until you've got 5 such cones. Feel free to weld up the seams for strength and total enclosure, MIGging your way to glory.
Step 3: Stellated Snowdecahedra - the Face
Step 4: Stellated Snowdecahedra - the Face, Cont'd
These new triangles should be angled so that they meet in the middle, and the new bottom of your badge should now have two sections that looks like 2/5 of the original pentagonal cone. if you've done everything right they should line up just perfectly. If you're like everyone else, remember nothing's perfect and love your new-mangled creation.
Make 5 of these identical pieces, and you're ready to start putting them together.
Step 5: Stellated Snowdecahedra - Putting It Together
Step 6: Stellated Snowdecahedra - Putting It Together Cont'd
Add in some hardware to help keep it all together when you eventually remove those tack-welds. I welded some nuts and hastily created an ill-advised "top-bracelet" to guide a fastening rope, but I'm sure you can come up with something better.
Step 7: Stellated Snowdecahedra - Pack It Up
Here are some pictures of the mold slightly disassembled, and stacked up for transport. For lovers and for mold pieces, nesting is always nice.
Step 8: Stellated Snowdecahedra - UPDATED Assembly Method
Now the entire thing can be put together very quickly, and is much more rigid and portable when assembled.
Step 9: Stellated Snowdecahedra - Use It!
Time to take it outside, pick a highly-trafficked area, and unleash your Platonic Public Art into the world!
Make sure to pack the snow all the way into the very corners of those cones, or else you'll end up with the "Sphinx effect" of broken noses. Nobody likes that.
Plop it upside down, loosen the fastening devices, and carefully remove each face, one at a time. Et voila, a beautiful spiky star for all to enjoy.
Till next time,
New American Public Art
A very special thanks to NextFab Studio and the Philly Sculpture Gym, the makerspaces that enable projects like this.