Project #68 – Tessellations

I will forever have mixed feelings about my 8th grade math teacher. On the one had she taught me a snazzy way to make tessellations, and on the other hand, she once gave me an ‘F’ on a project report because she thought it would be funny. I’d missed a test due to illness and instead of giving me an incomplete, as she should have, she gave me a failing grade that I would then have to show my mother. What if my parents were the “beatings for anything below a ‘B’” types? Harpy. Whatever, I guess those two things cancel each other out.

I’ve seen a lot of MC Escher illustrations where you can see the grids he used to map out his tessellations. I don’t think my brain could ever work that way. However, my brain does work a lot better by cutting things up.

This is what we’re going to do. We’re going to cut up a shape that we know already fits into a self-same grid (like a square) and turn it into an even more complex figure that will still fit into a self-same grid.

First, take a square of cardstock. Make a mark exactly at the center point at each side. Draw a line between each point and its opposite. Do the same on the reverse.

Cut a piece out of one side. Flip it and add it to the other side.

Do the same to the side 90 degrees to the left or right.

Now you can trace your tessellation pattern onto anything and add extra details.

Tessellations can be used to make an infinite number of shapes, complex or simple, abstract or with a toehold in reality.


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