Chawne Kimber and Ethan Berkove

Professor of Mathematics
Mathematics Department, Lafayette College
Easton, PA, USA

Chawne Kimber is a mathematician (ordered algebraic structures) and professional textile artist who also explores issues of race, identity and social justice in her mathematics and expresses them through quilts and embroidery. Her style is typically improvisational and uses some techniques gleaned from street art. This series of origami quilts is her first explicitly math-themed artwork in the quilt medium.

Ethan Berkove is a mathematician and long-time folder who is a newcomer to origami tessellations. He is interested in the interplay between the use of origami to express mathematical ideas and the use of mathematics to inform origami design. This is his first foray into the incorporation of origami with other media.

Weaves and Whorls
Weaves and Whorls
20.25" x 19.25"
kraft paper, cotton fabric (muslin, osnaburg), cotton batting

Origami and traditional quilting are wedded through a straightforward modern approach. Inspired by work of Eric Gjerde and Robert Lang, we designed a 2 x 2 patchwork of four origami tessellations folded from a single sheet of paper to evoke the feel of a traditional quilt. As far as we can tell, this use of different tessellations at once is novel and inspires one to consider how and when patterns may be folded simultaneously.

The paper was quilted as if it were a regular cotton top--sandwiched with batting and fabric backing. The introduction of fabrics and quilting turn a rigid, brittle and fragile paper object into a flexible, durable, and washable product with the drape of textiles and the usual desirable properties of a bed quilt.