M.C. Escher and His Tesselations

By: Eliana Taub

M.C. Escher: Who Was He?

M.C. (Maurits Cornelis) Escher is one of the worlds most famous graphic artist. He was born in Leeuwarden, Netherlands in 1898. After an attempt to become an architect, Escher studied graphic art at the School for Architecture and Decorative Arts in Haarlem. Throughout the years and his travels, he had created many different tessellation patterns and designs (two are pictured below). When he traveled to Alhambra, Spain in 1922, Escher was inspired by Moorish Mosaics. He got his start as a famous graphic artist from trying to replicate those style designs. Escher created a whole new world of graphic art, tessellations. He created tessellations of animals, objects, plants and even people, hundreds and even thousands of beautiful tessellations. Escher died in 1972 as one of the most famous graphic artists of all time.

Transformations Used In A Tessellation

When creating a tessellation, you will be using some transformations. Here are some that you will be using:

  1. Translation: This is the process of "sliding" a figure a certain number of units. Pretty much, the first shape travels a certain number of units to get to the second one.
  2. Rotation: It is what it sounds like. Rotation is the act of turning the object on a specific point on the figure a certain number of degrees clockwise or counter-clockwise.
  3. Reflection: Reflection is when an object is mirrored across a line, like a "mirror."
  4. Dilation: This is making something bigger or smaller without changing it.

Without these transformations, tessellations wouldn't be possible. Translation is probably the most common transformation in tessellations.

How To Make Your Own Tessellation

It's really easy to make your own tessellation, so give it a try!!!!

How to Make an Escher-esque Tessellation

About the Author:

Eliana Taub is a 7th grader at Shore Middle School. She enjoys reading, singing, acting, and writing short stories. She is really involved in Science Olympiad, Shoreline Singers and Drama Club. When she grows up, Eliana would love to be an actress or an author.