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Tessellation Printmaking


We were invited by headmistress Mrs Lorraine McEvoy to create and deliver an artist workshop that used tessellation in maths as a basis for a large artwork in the school hall at St Alberts Catholic Primary School in Stockbridge Village. After discussion with Mrs McEvoy we decided the best outcomes could be achieved by using printmaking methods to print tessellated patterns and designs.

The aim was to encourage and explore natural creativity through an art-rich curriculum that included drawing and printmaking. By using these media in relaxed fun-filled lessons we ignited the year 3 and year 4 children's imaginations and creative explorations related to the theme of tessellation.

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“A tessellation is a collection of shapes called tiles that fit together without gaps or overlaps to cover the mathematical plane”.

Through the workshops, pupils explored shape, patterns, congruent forms, rotation, reflection and colour in connection with the theme of tessellation. The workshop curriculum was designed to ensure skill development, yet with enough freedom to foster individual creativity.

Workshops consisted of these printmaking techniques:
• Polyboard printing
• MagicStamp foam block printing
• Relief block printmaking

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Research of artists and artworks that feature tessellation were used such as: Escher, Islamic Art, Robert Father and William Morris.

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The teaching material and resources are also displayed in the school hall next to the final large artwork, so other children in the school can understand all about tessellation.

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The children produced their own relief blocks by making patterns using foam shapes which were then printed to tessellate together to form a repeat pattern. The blocks were also used to print directly onto the large hardboard shapes used in the final artwork.

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