M. C. Escher - Tessellations - Movement, repetition,  



A tessellation is defined as a collection of tiles that fill the plane (a flat surface)  with no gaps or overlaps.  A regular tessellation is made up congruent regular polygons.  There are only three polygon types that will tessellate: triangles, squares, and hexagons.


    You have most likely seen a floor or shower tiled with square tiles.  Squares are the easiest form of tiles since they cover a surface without any overlaps or gaps.  Most definitions will say that to tessellate means to form or arrange small squares on a checkered pattern.  We will see that there are many other ways to create tessellation. 


    Tessellation’s that use only translations have tiles that all face in the same direction.  By using rotations, you can make a tessellation with tiles facing in different directions.  The designs in a rotation tessellation have rotation symmetry about points in the tiling.  Reflection tessellation uses the direct opposite image of the tile like a mirror.


As a class we looked at examples of M. C. Escher’s optical art and discuss how optical artists use images to play visual tricks on us.   The class then looked at how a tessellation is created out of a simple square and how different tessellation patterns are made. Next the children decided which pattern they would like to work with (Translation, Rotation, Reflection) and create their own tessellation template.  They students had to use their imaginations to create images from their template.  Once the tessellation was planned they decided on their color scheme to create a visual rhythm.


If you visit the student gallary at Paddock try to find the different types of tessllations - Translation, Rotation, Reflection.

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