Nathan Shields is a math teacher, illustrator, and dad. He's also a trailblazer when it comes to pancakes. They're not just round discs to him, they're a medium for exploration. He runs Saipancakes, a blog of various pancake experiments that includes pancake portraits of The Beatles, pancakes created by a pendulum device, and highly detailed pancake renderings of actual beetles.
Shields' newest creation is the Pangraph, a spirograph adapted to sit over a frying pan and help the user dispense batter in fascinating patterns. The best part is that you can eat your creations with whatever toppings you desire. I would recommend syrup so as not to obscure the lovely art piece you've created.
The Pangraph does the hard work of laying down the basic shapes of the pancakes, which come out looking like flowers, atoms, or snowflakes depending on the pattern. Shields demonstrates its use by setting the tip of a squeeze bottle full of batter into the Pangraph and manually rotating it around. The bottle is then used to fill in the designs by hand and make a more substantial pancake.
You can't run off to your local cooking-supplies store and buy a Pangraph, but you may be able to create something similar on your own. You'll need a frame with grooves inside to sit on top of your chosen pan, a squeeze bottle to hold the batter, and a round gear-like piece to sit inside the frame and spin around to direct the batter into spirograph patterns. Achieving this is probably a lot more complex than it sounds. It may just be easier to beg Shields to patent his invention and find a way to mass-produce it.
(Via Boing Boing)