Mr. Evans makes a variety of amazing impossible bottle sculptures:
From impossiblebottle.co.uk: Buy NOW Impossible Bottles by Philip Evans
Nice Impossible bottles are often available on Etsy:
From Etsy: BUY NOW Impossible Bottles
Impossible Bottle Sculpture Puzzle: seemingly impossible, but created with clever engineering, this “impossible” bottle contains a padlock and full deck of cards still in the wrapper (a cut out in the side of the box reveals that all the cards are inside). The puzzle aspect is to consider how the bottle was produced (I personally have some theories- but I do not know the secrets of this artist). I can tell you with high certainty that the bottle was never cut or altered in anyway, and it was not somehow formed around the objects. This bottle by Phil Evans is one of the best I’ve seen.
Versions of the Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle available from these sources:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Hooey Stick Folk Toy
From Amazon: BUY NOW Hooey Stick Folk Toy
From eBay: BUY NOW Hooey Stick Folk Toy
Phase Locking Folk Toy: rubbing the stick over the notches creates both vertical and horizontal vibrations- and leads to an elliptical motion of the nail in the center of a propeller, which begins to rotate due to friction with the nail. This toy is called a Gee-Haw Wimmy Diddle (see the Wikipedia page- I kid you not) or a Hooey Stick. Note that depending on how the stick is held, the propeller will spin clockwise or counterclockwise.
Get this set here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW Hardwood Pentominoes
Many versions available here:
From Amazon: BUY NOW Pentominoes
The book by mathematician Solomon Golomb that started the polyonomo recreational math craze:
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Polyominoes
Pentominoes: The 12 possible arrangements of five identical squares joined edge to edge. Since 5x12=60, the pentominoes can tile a 6 x 10 rectangle with no gaps (2339 ways to do this- yet even finding one solution is a challenge). I love this beautiful set from artist/woodworker Ron Moore where each pentomino is made from a different kind of hard wood.
Periodic Table with 83 element samples:
From Etsy store ProtoshopLLC : BUY NOW
Heritage Periodic Table
See also: The Collector's Edition with 85 samples
Please note: there are fradulent versions of this with only pictures embedded in the acyrlic being sold on facebook. The link above is the only place to get the actual version.
The Heritage Periodic Table Display: a comprehensive collection of the chemical elements that can fit in the hand. Embedded in acrylic are actual samples of 83 of the 118 elements- including pure bubbles of the gaseous elements- represented by 75 high purity samples and 7 compounds. 2019 marks the 150th anniversary of the world changing periodic system of Dmitri Mendeleev (published in 1869). This table and collection is the creative work of Tim and Cory Marriott of Engineered Labs Protoshop LLC
Available on Etsy: BUY NOW Gold Ferrofluid Cell
Golden Ferrofluid: colloidal ferromagnetic liquid in a specially prepared water-alcohol suspension. Curious behavior results from the interplay between magnetic force and surface tension. I'm still investigating the gold coloring and the specific makeup of the clear suspension fluid- both trade secrets it seems. The gold color appears to be a thin coating at the boundary between the ferrofluid and the suspension liquid.
These prescision kaleidoscopes are crafted from front surface mirrors and other specialty materials, many with innovative desgin and construction techiques:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Kaleidoscopes by Marc Tickle
Tapered Mirror Kaleidoscope: hidden within this colorful tube are 3 mirrors, 2 rolling glass spheres, and 1 dichroic glass reflector. These elements combine to produce the dynamic and magical images seen through the view window as the device is slightly tilted back and forth and brought in and out of a bright light source. This unique teleidoscope design “Disco Dandelion” is but one of many creations by artist Marc Tickle. Invented by the famous Scottish physicist Sir David Brewster (1781-1868), the kaleidoscope is an ultimate physics toy and entire field of artistic endeavor.
Professor Brecher has a limited supply of these "golden" (brass) versions of this top available on Etsy
From Etsy: BUY NOW PhiTOP in Brass
Aluminum version available here:
From Amazon: BUY NOW phiTOP
The ΦTop - Golden Version: spinning things have surprising physics! This unique top is made of solid brass in the shape of a prolate elIipsoid- and the name of the top is derived from the following design requirement: the ratio of the semi minor (short) axis to the semi major (long) axis is made equal to the mathematical constant the golden ratio φ (phi). Invented by astrophysicist Kenneth Brecher, this top stands up vertically (when spun with sufficient rotational velocity) due to physics similar to that of the tippe-top. The concave mirror keeps the top from wandering off and the glass surface has minimal friction allowing the top to spin for a long time- this video shows various stages of 8 minutes of total spin time.
Get this "impossible" jar and other amazing things from this shop:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Impossible Jar & Golf Ball
Impossible Jar with Golf Ball: a regular off the shelf golf ball somehow trapped within a standard glass jar. Neither the ball nor the jar were cut or glued in the fabrication process. The puzzle aspect is to consider how this object was produced (again, I have some theories- but I do not know the secrets of this artist). This incredible piece was made by craftsman and artist Nathan Nickerson, and comes with the golf tee display stand (a nice touch!)
A high quality 3D print (with steel marbles) available here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Marble Run Fun
Or print it yourself: From Thingiverse: Cyclone Marble Run
Marble Run 3D Print: a design that looks like it came off the page of a Dr. Seuss book has rolling marbles doing tricks down 3 tracks as potential energy of gravity is converted to kinetic energy. In this mini-marble run a fingertip (or end of a pen) powers an auger conveyor (Archimedes' Screw) to bring the marbles back to the top. A wonderful and whimsical designed by Øyvind Kaurstad.
This set of 3D printed scutoids available here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Scutoid container set
Scutoids: a recently recognized form of geometric solids discovered in 2018. Scutoids have a different polygon on each end, and when packed together maximize stability and minimize energy when forming a boundary layer- such as the membranes around organs in living tissue. These 5-6 scutoids have pentagons on one end and hexagons on the other. Discovered by a collaboration of biologists and mathematicians in 2018, this set is sold by Recep Mutlu of 3DPrintBase.
Get similar devices here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW
Trammel of Archimedes
From eBay: BUY NOW
Trammel of Archimedes
Trammel of Archimedes: as the shuttles take turns completing their straight line journeys, the end of the crank arm traces an ellipse. Sometimes sold as a “do nothing machine” or “nothing grinder”, far from doing nothing this simple and crucially important mechanism demonstrates how rotational motion can be converted into translational oscillatory motion- such as how a piston can drive an engine’s crankshaft. This version was crafted from fine maple, cherry, and oak by artisan Neal Olsen.
Get this very nice laser cut version here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Desk Wobbler
Check out my posts on similar geometric objects: developable rollers
Wobbler Roller: a very simple toy today- two half circle perimeters affixed at right angles which surprisingly can then roll in a straight line with a peculiar wobble motion. When rolling, a wobbler always touches the table top at two points which could be connected by a straight line, and forms the frame of the geometric shape called a sphericon (featured in a previous post).
Get this 3D print here (your choice of colors):
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Satifying Hexagons
Satisfying Hexagons: this delightful kinetic art manipulation toy features 19 nested hexagons within a hexagonal frame. Embedded magnets allows one to move the central hexagon from behind creating interesting visual effects. A 3D print created by @i.am.the.lazy.engineer- indeed oddly satisfying!
Mr. Lustig's art is typically sold at art gallery pricing:
From Nellie Bly: BUY NOW: Lustig At Glass (Call the shop for availabilty of the small piece in the video)
See other optical sculptures here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Optical Light Sculptures
Optical Glass Cube Light Sculpture: multiple internal reflections create intricate and delicate patterns within this crystal glass cube with beveled prismatic edges and concave lens shaped indentations on three faces. The bottom three faces are coated with special metal oxide layers that create color through the physics of thin film interference. This is the smallest (4.0 cm on edge) cube featured by artist Harold Lustig, famous for his precision optical glass sculptures.
A nice wood version is available here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW Dudeney's Dissection
Click here for other intresting versions of this puzzle
See both Wikipedia and Wolfram MathWorld for more details on the history and math of this geometrical oddity.
Dudeney's Dissection: an equilateral triangle can be cut (dissected) into four pieces that will then assemble into a square. Interestingly the four parts are all different in shape (the green and yellow pieces are similar but not the same). This hinged model is comprised of precision machined and anodized aluminum, and can be folded back and forth between the two simplest regular polygons. It is not known if a similar three piece dissection is possible. Also called the haberdasher's problem and described in 1907 by Henry Dudeney it is the only 4 piece solution known.
This and other beautiful and well made puzzles are available on Etsy:
From Etsy: BUY NOW 10 Hex Puzzle
Two great resources about these polyhexs: polyform puzzler page and puzzleworld page
10 Hex Puzzle: this puzzle is comprised of pieces which are the set of all ways three and four hexagons can be joined with a common edge. There are 3 trihexs and 7 possible tetrahexs, and similar to pentominoes, these 10 polyhexs can assemble into a large hexagon. Amazingly there are exactly 12,290 solutions to this puzzle- but it’s still a challenge to find just one!
Tom and Carol Paretti create some of the finest kaleidoscope art in the world: Paretti Kaleidoscopes
Often found on eBay: BUY NOW: Paretti Kaleidoscpes
Other Fine art kaleidoscopes avaibable here from this trusted seller:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Fine Art Kaleidoscopes
More amazing kaliedocsopes from my collection here
Designer Kaleidoscope: the beautiful symmetry of multiple reflections. Tiny glass beads and a collection of shiny objects provide the viewing material in this side-lit precision kaleidoscope by Carol Verde-Paretti. Invented by the famous Scottish physicist Sir David Brewster (1781-1868), the kaleidoscope is an ultimate physics toy and entire field of artistic endeavor.