Kevin Lee

Instructor of Math/CSCI
Normandale Community College

For several years I have written software to create Escher-like tessellations. The goal of my new program, TesselManiac!, is to have users (especially young ones) create tessellations and explore this connection of math and art. TesselManiac! allows you to create thirty-six types of isohedral tessellations. It includes several animations, including one where the tile morphs from a base polygon tile to the final shape.

I have been exploring techniques to laser cut and engrave tiles out of wood. Different species of wood are used to color the tiling .

Escher Potted Vine Study
Escher Potted Vine Study
61 x 40 x 1 cm
Wood: Maple, Walnut, Oak, Cherry, and Sapele

In 1944 M.C. Escher did a very clever symmetry drawing (#64) of vines that grow up and down with leaves that interlock. As a wallpaper pattern it can be classified as PGG. If you look closely at the vine pattern you can see that it can also be classified as an isohedral tiling with the repeating tile being one leaf and attached stem. This tile is classified as Heesch type CG1CG2G1G2. Using this information, I recreated the leaf in TesselManiac and then used the program to create files to drive a laser cutter. The potted plant consists of a single vine climbing out of a pot and individual leaves that have fallen down. I have explored creating the plant in wood with several variations.