The Art of Dominoes

Dominoes are small rectangular blocks that can be stacked on end in long lines. When one domino is tipped, it triggers the other dominoes to tip over, resulting in a chain reaction that can continue until all the dominoes have fallen. This is a metaphor for events that, once started, lead to much greater-and sometimes catastrophic-consequences. The term is also used to describe a series of actions that produce similar, unforeseen results, such as the collapse of a large financial institution or a terrorist attack.

A person who works with dominoes can create beautiful pieces of art. She can make straight or curved lines, grids that form pictures when they fall, or 3D structures such as towers and pyramids. Her work can be exhibited in museums and galleries, or used to decorate homes and businesses. The art of domino can also be used to teach kids the basics of geometry and physics.

Lily Hevesh has been playing with dominoes since she was 9 years old, when her grandparents gave her a classic 28-pack of the little square pieces. She loved setting them up in straight or curved lines and flicking the first domino to watch the entire line topple over. Now, Hevesh has more than 2 million YouTube subscribers who watch her create spectacular domino setups.

Hevesh, who goes by the name Hevesh5, says her hobby has grown into a career that allows her to travel the world and showcase her talent in domino art. She has done commissioned domino sets for movies, TV shows, and even album launches. She has also created dominoes that are used as backdrops for photo shoots and fashion shows.

A domino set contains a number of different types of tiles, each with a distinctive shape and color. Some are marked with numbers, while others have a blank side that can be ascribed any value. The dominoes are made from a rigid material such as wood or clay, and can be printed with colored or white pips, or a mixture of both.

Most domino games are played in pairs, with each player taking turns. Each player must play a domino so that its numbers are positioned correctly to connect with those on the other players’ pieces. If a player cannot play a domino, she or he must “knock” (rap the table) and the turn passes to the next player. A player may not touch an existing domino chain with his or her piece, although a domino with the same number as another already played domino can be joined to that existing chain.

Some players choose to use only certain numbers, while others try to collect the whole set of dominoes. A common strategy is to play a domino with the same number on both sides, as this ensures that no opponent can prevent you from connecting your dominoes to form a chain.

In the past, dominoes were made from natural materials such as bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory, or a dark hardwood such as ebony. These materials give the dominoes a richer look and feel than the polymer-based sets now available, and they are often much more expensive. More recently, dominoes have been manufactured from ceramic clay and other materials such as marble. These sets are typically more colorful than traditional wooden or ivory dominoes and have a more modern, elegant design.