The Art of Domino Building


Domino is the game of laying down little rectangular blocks (also called tiles) in lines and angular patterns to create a chain that falls over one another until all the pieces are accounted for. The resulting chains can be used to form designs such as curved lines, 3-D structures like towers and pyramids, or grids that create pictures when they fall. Each domino is assigned a value of one to six spots or “pips” that resemble those on dice. A domino set consists of 28 such pieces.

Dominoes may be made of plastic, bone or ivory, a dark hardwood such as ebony, or other materials and can have pips that are inlaid or painted. Historically, many sets of dominoes were made from natural materials. These sets tend to be heavier than modern polymer dominoes, and may have a more traditional feel. These sets are more expensive than their polymer counterparts, but they can be more aesthetically pleasing and durable.

In the past, dominoes were also crafted from stones such as marble and granite; other types of wood, including yew and cedar; metals, such as brass or pewter; ceramic clay; and even frosted glass. Although this is no longer practical due to cost and the need for specialized tools, some amateur craftsman still craft their own wooden dominoes. They often use the drill press, radial arm saw, scroll saw and belt sander to build their creations.

Hevesh takes her time to plan her projects, making sure every piece is in place and ready to go before she starts building. She carefully tests each section of an installation in slow motion with a camera. This allows her to make any corrections before putting the whole thing together. It also makes it easier to see when a piece isn’t positioned properly, so it can be moved before it causes an error.

When she’s done, it’s just a matter of letting gravity take its course. Hevesh’s largest installations can take several nail-biting minutes to fall, but once they do, the effect is spectacular. She’s helped to set two Guinness records for the most dominoes toppled in a circular arrangement, and her intricate works are always a crowd pleaser.

While domino art has been around for quite some time, it’s become more popular in recent years as people have come to appreciate the beauty of these arrangements and how they can be used in a variety of different ways. The internet has also helped spread the word about this creative activity. Many websites now feature instructions on how to make your own masterpieces, as well as lists of recommended supplies and tools.

While the basic rules of a domino game are relatively simple, the strategies employed to win are more complex. Players begin a game by drawing a number of dominoes according to the rules of the specific game they are playing, placing these in front of them in such a way that one end matches an open end on a previously played tile.