Craig S. Kaplan
Most of my academic research concerns ways in which mathematical ideas and computer algorithms can be used to amplify the creative potential of humans. As much as it is a pleasure to articulate scientific discoveries via the standard medium of scholarly papers, it is even more satisfying to test the value of my research by putting it to use in the creation of finished artworks. I particularly enjoy projects that marry modern mathematical and computational ideas with hand crafting, creating a finished artifact that balances between the perfection of abstract mathematics and the imperfections of human artifacts.
"Wallpapers in Cross Stitch", a 2007 piece by Mary Shepherd, shows patterns in the 12 wallpaper groups that can be realized using cross stitch. Patterns with threefold or sixfold rotations are (supposedly) impossible because of the square grid used in cross stitch. My new sampler is constructed using a piece of triaxial woven fabric, generously provided by Sakase Adtech in Japan (http://www.sakase.co.jp/). Here, threefold and sixfold rotations are possible, but fourfold rotations are not. With access to these other rotations, I can depict 14 of the 17 wallpaper groups (excluding p4, p4m, and p4g).