Domino is an elegant, large-scale installation by artist Hevesh that uses the shapes of dominoes to form a kinetic sculpture. Her work demonstrates how the simple act of knocking over one domino can create a chain reaction that continues until the last domino falls. The concept of a domino effect is also a powerful tool for writers—considering each plot point in a novel as a single domino that could fall at any time.
While many people are familiar with the term domino, few know what it actually refers to: a game piece that is similar in shape to a die or playing card and can be used to play various games. A domino is a rectangular block with a line down the middle that separates its ends into two squares, each bearing an arrangement of spots or dots (usually from one to six) called pips. When combined, these pips form the identity of a domino and identify its suit. There are many different types of games that can be played with dominoes, and each game has its own rules and scoring system.
The word domino may also be used to refer to the act of laying or stacking these pieces side by side or in rows to create a structure. A popular game is to arrange dominoes so that they are arranged in a circle, and the goal is to make them touch each other or overlap to create a closed loop. This is a great way to exercise motor skills and coordination, and can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
Dominoes are typically made of bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), or ivory and have a dark material such as ebony on the opposite sides to create a contrasting color. However, there are many other materials that can be used to make a set of dominoes, including marble, granite, soapstone, and other stone; metals such as brass and pewter; ceramic clay; and even frosted glass.
A typical domino set contains 28 pieces. Each domino has a unique number of pips and is matched to another piece in the set with its same number of pips. Some sets are “extended” by adding additional ends with different numbers of pips and therefore more unique combinations; the most common extended sets are double-nine, double-12, and double-18.
Hevesh’s process of creating her mind-blowing domino creations is a lot like the engineering-design process. She begins by considering the theme or purpose of her piece. Then, she brainstorms ideas for images or words that might be relevant to that idea. Finally, she tests the various sections of her design to see how they function and make adjustments as needed.
When she’s happy with the results, Hevesh puts together her dominos and begins arranging them into a final structure. She starts with the largest, 3-D sections first and then works her way down to the flat arrangements that connect all of the sections. By the end of her work, she has a mind-blowing domino structure that shows off her skill and creativity.