Thursday, October 22, 2020

Hypersphaera lopshireum

 

Hypersphaera lopshireum
Rainbow Spotted Superball

According to Chief Sphaeralogist, Henry J. Simonds, H lopshireum is a very rare specimen of bouncy ball.  The example featured in the display case below is, in fact, the only one he has found; this despite the commonality of the pattern in the design and retail worlds.  No images exist of the ball in the visual record, so the image to the right is actually an earring with a similar pattern by Plain Jane & Co. 

The latin name was given in recognition of children's author Robert Lopshire and his book Put Me in the Zoo (shown below).  Like the character in the book, the ball features a rainbow of spots, here on a base of white.  It is a smooth, shiny ball formed as a sheeted-skin over a solid core.


Hypersphaera lopshireum
2014

Handmade display box made for Bounce! at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh.

Materials: Salvaged picture frame, hand-formed hinges, hardware, glass, linen, foamcore, paint, wood, and etched nameplate.

Photo courtesy of Headwater Media,
©2014 Henry J. Simonds





Hypersphaerae vandoesburg

 

Hypersphaerae vandoesburg

Colored Diamond Pattern Superball


This style of ball is named after the Dutch artist Theo van Doesburg who was, along with Piet Mondrian, one of the founders of the De Stijl movement that was concerned with abstraction, simplicity and a new kind of applied art.  

(Source: https://www.artsalonholland.nl/grote-meesters-kunstgeschiedenis/theo-van-doesburg.)  

H vandoesburg display geometric and rectilinear "blocks" of rpimary and secondary colors in a solid color field—the base color varying from the blocks but represented as such in alternate samples; I.e, with a green base field, the green block would not appear.  The design is made within a sheet of rubber and then molded around a core in the construction process.  The surface is most often matte and textured but can be found with smooth, shiny skins as well.  The balls are dense and less dynamic than typical styles and can oxidize and dry out with age. (Photo courtesy of Headwater Media.)



Theo van Doesburg, Composition VIII (the cow), 
ca.1918, oil on canvas, 38 x 64 cm, 
Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA

Hypersphaerae vandoesburg
2014

Specimen box created for, Bounce!, at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh (2014/15).

Materials: Salvaged frame, linen, foam-core, wood, metal nameplate, hardware, and contemporary balls.

Photo courtesy of Headwater Media,
©2020 Henry J. Simonds

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Hypersphaerae hokusai

Hypersphaera hokusai
Cyclone Superball

Unlike its cousin H jangeri (Psychedelic Cyclone Superball), these specimens are composed of a limited number of contributing colors of rubber.  Often just 3 or 4 tones in a restrained palette, they don't display the same wild panoply as jangeri.  As with all "cyclone" styles, they are made by injecting the base materials into the mold from a single point and are, thus, solidly intermixed throughout the ball.  You can see in the 2nd example shown (below left, top) this method's point of introduction 
The materials are pushed through as distinct streams which become mixed and swirled under the pressure of the process.

These are named after the great Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai, known simply as Hokusai, in honor of his famous woodblock print, The Great Wave off Kanagawa from his series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji. (More info: https://www.katsushikahokusai.org/Mount-Fuji-Seen-Below-A-Wave-At-Kanagawa.html.)


Hypersphaera hokusai
2014

Specimen box made for the exhibtion, Bounce!, at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh (2014/15).

Materials: Salvaged picture frame, wood, linen, paper, vintage superball, and hardware. (Henry J. Simonds)

Photo courtesy of Headwater Media,
©2014 Henry J. Simonds



Hypersphaerae cramiconcrispo

Hypersphaerae cramiconcrispo
Creamsicle Superball

These two-tone types feature a variety of base colors with intermixed swirls of white.  They differ from "marbled" styles in that the two colors remain distinct, with no mixing, blending, or variation of the base tone.  They have a shiny, smooth surface that is formed in the mold around a solid core.  Of a medium density, they are a durable example for play.
(Photo credit: ©2012 Ryan Lai, ltbouncingball.)

 




Hypersphaerae cramiconcrispo
2014

This display plaque was created by Henry J. Simonds for the collaborative exhibition, Bounce!, co-produced by the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh in 2014/15.

Photo courtesy of Headwater Media,
©2014 Henry J. Simonds

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Hypersphaerae anuli

Hypersphaera anuli
Ringed Superball

Although many companies selling this bouncy ball or similar designs often call this a "striped" ball.  At the I.S.S., H anuli has been classified as "ringed," because the lines/stripes run longitudinally parallel to the equatorial center line or axis where the two halves are joined in the mold.  Additionally, two pink dots sit at each pole of the sphere, further emphasizing its orientation and, thus, influencing the categorization.  

This ball features concentric rings of primary and secondary colors (green, red, and blue) embedded in a regularly spaced, loose pattern within a dominant skin of smooth, matte yellow rubber with pink at its poles/center circles.  This is a particularly dense and hard style of ball due to its composition and construction.  The matte finish allows for oxidization and aging of the surface, which dulls the vibrance and can take on dirt and oils.  The variations of color and pattern beyond this base yellow color ball have not yet been accepted in the anuli class and will be considered in the future.  (Photo courtesy of Headwater Media.)

Hypersphaera anuli
2014

An assemblage of balls created for the collaborative exhibition, Bounce!, at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh

Mounted on salvaged wood with home-made black-walnut stain and metal nameplate. 

Photo courtesy of Headwater Media,
©2020 Henry J. Simonds

Hypersphaerae variscia

Hypersphaerae variscia
Embellished Variscite Superball

Variscite is an end-member of the isomorphic row of variscite-strengite series of minerals. Like the garnet and feldspar groups, variscite-strengite minerals have an identical crystalline structure, but exhibit slightly varying composition. Owing to variscite's unique mode of occurrence, it is often formed and associated with other phosphate minerals, resulting in interesting veining, splotches and other coloring habits. Although all variscite is valued by collectors, emerald-green variscite from Utah and the black spider-webbed variscite from Nevada are among the most desirable.  Variscite may also be found in colors other than green, such as purple, orange, pink, red, brown or yellow.  If materials contain less iron than aluminum in their composition, reddish to violet colors will dominate.  Higher iron impurities will bring out more brownish tones.  (Source: https://www.gemselect.com/english/gem-info/variscite/variscite-info.php.)

H variscia specimens, like their namesake mineral, can be found in colors ranging from green to blue to red and pink, featuring the same veining of variegated "mineral deposits" and metallic gold and silver striations.  These elements are found both upon the subsurface of the colored core and in the clear coating of the skin as ribbons of pigment and materials.  These are—again, like their namesake mineral cousins—some of the most beautiful sphaeralogical species found.

Some variscite mineral examples:






Hypersphaerae variscia
2013

Specimen box created by Henry J. Simonds for Super•Ball, held at The Mine Factory in Pittsburgh, Pa in 2013.

Materials: Salvaged frame with homemade walnut stain, wood, paint, contemporary balls, hardware, found brass plate and ink on paper.  

Photo courtesy of Headwater Media
©2013 Henry J. Simonds





Hypersphaera pele

Hypersphaera pele
Association Football Superball

One of a handful of sports-themed balls—soccer, baseball, basketball, etc.—H pele is designed to look like a traditional soccer (aka association football) ball.  It is commonly made as a solid, opaque white ball with the 12 black pentagonal shapes printed on the surface.  The surface is smooth and shiny and uniformly wrapped around a solid core in the mold.  This design consequently allows the identifying black panels to wear off quickly with play.  Although it is primarily seen in black & white, pele can be found in a variety of base colors or combinations.  A variation on the style is a solid, textured ball that features the hexagons and paneling of a traditional football's truncated icosahedron form.  (For more on the geometry of the football, visit: wiki/Truncated_icosahedron.)  (Photo credit: ©2020 Henry J. Simonds)

Hypersphaera pele
2013

This mounted specimen was created by Henry J. Simonds for the exhibition, Super•Ball, in 2013.  Shown at The Mine Factory in Pittsburgh, Pa it was designed to mimic an award given to the artist in the 1980's at summer camp.

Photo courtesy of Headwater Media
©2013 Henry J. Simonds