Kevin Lee using tessellations by Makoto Nakamura, Bruce Bilney, Robert Fathauer and Alain Nicolas.

Instructor of Math/CSCI
Normandale Community College
Saint Paul, MN

For many years I have been working on software to create Escher-like tessellations of the plane. My previous programs include TesselMania, Kaleidomania, and Tessellation Exploration. I also enjoy woodworking. My most recent program, in addition to being able to create thirty-three types of tessellations, can generate files to control a laser cutter. This has led to collaboration with several tessellation artists to implement their designs as laser cut wooden tiles that are inlaid to decorate the sides of a box.

Inlaid Wooden Box of Makoto Nakamura's Tessellations
4 x 4 x 4 inches
Wood: Cherry, Maple, Walnut, Oak, Butternut, Mahogany

Makoto Nakamura has created a collection of tessellation designs that rival M. C. Escher’s collection. The six designs on this box represent the asymmetric, isohedral Heesch tile types: TCCTC, TG1G2TG2G1, TCCTGG, C3C3C3C3C3C3, and CC4C4C4C4.

Inlaid Wooden Box of Tessellations by Bruce Bilney, Robert Fathauer, and Alain Nicolas
4 x 4 x 4 inches
Wood: Maple, Cherry, Walnut, Oak, Mahogany

In this box I collaborated with three great tessellation artists to implement their designs in wood. The tessellations represent several of the Heesch types for asymmetric, isohedral tiles. A variety of the woods are used to “color” the tile. The tiles are done in two, three, or four different woods depending on what is needed for perfect coloring.