M.C. Escher’s Lizards are by far the most popular of Escher’s tessellations. It can be seen gracing many multitudes of surfaces, legally or illegally. From tattoos, puzzles, belt buckles, car wraps, flooring or landscaping stones… My initial introduction to tessellations was through redrawing this lizard in its nested shape during a class on crystallography at Carleton U. That was a few decades ago, in 1988. But, as I keep on repeating (no pun), to draw a tessellation or to truly understand the structure behind it are two different things.
Most of us learn the easy/best way. Look at the masters, follow their path and learn all that we can from them. Replicate their artwork. It is a long process, especially without any direction or assistance from a teacher. This is where I’m at right now — copying / learning from the pentagon symmetry system seekers: Reinhardt, Kershner, James, Rice, Stein, Mann, McLoud, and Von Derau. As I did for a while, copying M.C. Escher’s tessellations, decades ago, although I no longer need MCE inspiration to create a tessellation. Continue reading
Create your own tessellation
This list is to help you get started in creating your own nested shape tessellations. I’m not showing you how to create wallpaper patterns with lots of free space in between, but the true, à la M.C. Escher designs. A tessellation of a flat surface is the tiling of a plane using one or more fluid shapes, called tiles, with no overlaps and no gaps. Continue reading
There are three of them living under this ruff. They own the place. Yahoos when they are not gate guardians. Named this one Bibi, possibly for bierbelly. It is based in symmetry group P3 and the pentagons of Type 3, a hexagon split three ways. It’s a stretch from its original lines, but that is indeed where I started. Quite a simple tessellation with only a few lines. And a favourite tail twirl around a three-way rotation point – I’ve done that one quite a few times. Continue reading
My Pentagon Challenge is keeping me busy. I am plowing my way through all of the pentagonal tiling types. Quite a few of them are built within either a perfect hexagon, or one that has been distorted beyond recognition. I am finding some interesting rules of symmetry I had not yet encountered. Wrapping my noggin around new concepts. Many of these symmetry types are skew-able, not only scale-able. Also, many of the anchor point for division lines inside hexagons are variable in their location, as long as the variable is kept constant for each pentagonal unit. Continue reading
Another challenge showing up on my desk, compliments of Woodpecker Carving. Hussein posted a beautiful Islamic geometric design, displaying the use of pentagons. But wait I thought, aren’t pentagons impossible to tile using the original seventeen symmetry groups? Or so I thought. I had seen intriguing examples of pentagonal tiles over the years, but I was still obsessed with M.C. Escher type nested shapes – and will always be. Continue reading
I was approached by a student a few months ago — he was writing his dissertation and needed examples to illustrate the seventeen symmetry groups: Continue reading