geometrymas one — new holiday lights

Black Friday is my favorite day of the year. Really, everything from having the food put away after Thanksgiving dinner (so it can be gotten out again shortly) and the rest of Thanksgiving weekend are my favorite days of the year, hands down. We head out on Black Friday and go to Macy’s, to see the light show, and to see the Dickens Village, and Santa.

This year the city’s Christmas Market is around City Hall, now that LOVE Park is gone. We went there to take the kids ice skating, and looked at the stalls, finding our usual favorites, and then — saw these fascinating modular plastic lighting kits. They reminded me of M.C. Escher’s work. They are made by Infinity Lights.

We bought six sets for the front of the house (which gives you enough pieces to make many more than six shapes, depending on how big you want to make them). Before giving them a try, Béla and Tuck and I did look at an Escher pop-up book, just to get an idea about repeating shapes — of either the same or different sizes — creating larger shapes.

escher2

Both kids saw the similarities between putting together the “puzzle light” shapes, and knitting — an idea I am mentally bookmarking here, to show them how rates of increase and decrease in knitting change (and make) shapes. But the fact was, the puzzle lights were pretty fiddly, and it was Dad and Tuck who made most of them. Claudia has taken credit for the one perfect sphere. (I do think her experience in knitting helped her a lot.)

Keeping in mind that the shapes could not be “flipped” as they picked them up out of the pile was important. I’m happy with these sets (two of the modular pieces did break, but you get way more than you need) and think that we will try them again, in a variety of shapes, at other times. We also might have had an easier time if we had bought more than one color — we got all white — and so I may go to the site and buy more in different colors, as it will help the kids “see” where they are in a schematic.

lanterncloseup

We are delighted with the look of the house. Nobody else in the neighborhood has anything like these that we’ve seen! When Béla crossed the street to look, he said “Our house looks like a phone… with all the apps.”

housewithlanterns

The lights inside are LEDs and come with programmable remotes, for color changing, fast and slow blinking, etc…. a pretty neat start, and I think we will do even more with it in time.

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