A Tessellating Coloring Book

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Available from Amazon.

From the Introduction:

Tessellations—shapes that fit together to fill the plane—attracted my interest a dozen years ago because they allowed me to create visually interesting mazes. That interest faded when I could not find a publisher for a proposed maze book, but with Amazon's platform of easy self-publishing, CreateSpace, the interest returned. In my quest to promote my maze books, I realized that a coloring book was an alternative way of utilizing the tessellation patterns I had prepared, one that might appeal to a different group of people.

At least half of a tessellation shape is determined by the other half and many involve only a few modifications of a triangle, square, hexagon, or diamond. If you can see the method used to form a particular tessellation, it is often easy to create your own version of the design. If the tessellation is an abstract geometric shape, your version may of necessity be identical to the original, but if it is a representational image, resembling a real-world object, it may be considerably different. The birds on page 49 were inspired by a similarly constructed tessellation by M. C. Escher. Almost all other representational designs were discovered by playing with several computer programs (including TesselMania, Tess, and Fontographer). It is almost certain that others have found similar shapes as they have played with tessellations—though there are infinitely many tessellations, there may be only a finite number of classes that resemble real-world objects.

Sometimes one tessellation shape leads to others. For example, when I showed the octopus design on page 11 to a friend, she said it reminded her of a deer. As a result, I quickly designed the heads on pages 29 and 30. Other tessellations that are closely related and came from the same original source are the arrowheads, forks, drinking glasses and clothes pins on pages 65, 66, 67, and 68. Although I stumbled on a few of the geometric patterns independently, they are all in the public domain and are available from many books and Internet sites.

If you are doing a tessellation project, I have no objections if you build on what is in this book by modifying, enhancing, or improving the designs.

I hope you enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed designing it. I apologize in advance for errors that remain in the book.

Robert Schenk

PS If you are interested in seeing how tessellation patterns can be used to create mazes, see Tantalizing Tessellating Mazes, which has 70 mazes created from tessellation patterns. There are also some tessellating mazes in A Cornucopia of Mazes and Amusing Alphabet Mazes. All are available from Amazon.com.

March 2015: In the past two plus years I have found a number of tessellation patterns that I think are better than some in the original book. I have replaced about 25 and also made alterations to other pages to make them fit better as part of a coloring book.

Following the standing birds on page 49 are five more standing bird tessellations, each tessellated in a different way. All five were developed using Tesselmaniac, a program by the author of TesselMania that brings that wonderful old program to current operating systems.

There are no letter tessellations in this book; if you want letter tessellations, you may find The Tessellating Alphabet Coloring Book worthwhile.

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