M. C. Escher’s Infinity Triangles


Did you know?
Dutch artist, M.C. Escher is well known for his tessellations. Tessellation is using one or more geometric shapes to fill an area with no gaps or overlaps. Using these, Escher explored capturing infinity within the framework of graphic art. Triangles are used everyday when building and designing.

TRY THIS

Let’s explore infinity using triangles.

Materials:

  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Construction paper in assorted colors
  • Construction paper, larger sheet
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick

This project uses a series of right isosceles triangles. These are triangles with two same length sides on either side of a 90-degree angle.

If you placed two identical right triangles together at their long side, they would form a square. Using a ruler and pencil, draw and cut out a large square from colored construction paper. Make three more squares the same size from different colors of construction paper. Cut them in half diagonally. These will be A size triangles. Set one triangle from each color aside for the moment.

Place one A triangle on your large sheet of paper (the background paper). Take three more of the A triangles, each of a different color and cut them in half, from the center of the long side to the 90 degree corner, these are B triangles. Take two of these B triangles, each a different color, and place them with a short side touching along the long edge of the A triangle on the background paper. This will make a square in three colors. The project is all about making these three part squares. Glue the pieces to the background paper

Take three more B triangles, each in different colors, and cut them in half, from the long edge to the 90-degree corner, these are C triangles. Use 4 of these to make 2 squares with the two B triangles. Select colors that make a pleasing pattern.

STEP IT UP

Continue in this pattern, cutting triangles in half and joining three to make a square, as long as you wish, or until the pieces are too small to handle.

Based on a project found in Karyn Tripp’s Math Art and Drawing Games for Kids

PARENT & TEACHER TOOLS

This program has been designed for you to share with your child. Read the material together, ask questions and encourage your child to ask questions. Then nurture their curious mind by doing the activities with them. Books included are available via CPL’s digital library (with a library card).