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Arts Toolkit

Arts Toolkit: Visual Arts Video Clips

An Introduction to Tessellations



In these two excerpts, artist-instructor Thomas Freese introduces the tessellation method of creating a pattern. He shows how to make a tessellating stamp and use it to create an interlocking set of designs. In the introductory segment, “What Is a Tessellation?” (6:52), he gives a general description of tessellation, defines the term, and shows examples. In “Tessellating Stamps” (12:37), he demonstrates how to assemble a foam and Plexiglas stamp to help make a tessellation pattern. These segments can be used together or separately.

Suggested Uses:

  • Use in a mathematics or art class to demonstrate how to make a tessellation, using the techniques and suggestions from the video. The tessellation process combines geometry, measurement, repetition, and patterning to create unusual, appealing designs.
  • Use in conjunction with a discussion of the purposes of art (e.g., designing a pattern).
  • Pair with an artist profile, such as the “Mehendi-Maker” segment from the “Folk and Traditional Arts” section of Spectrum of Art, to explore how an artist uses the skills of pattern design demonstrated in this activity.

For more information:

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