abstract tessellation
  Tessellations from Villa Montessori elementary school, Phoenix, Arizona

tessellation of sea dragons

a Tessellation by Sophie

The theme for this tessellation is "paint splatters". This reminds me strongly of one of my favorite songs, "Leave It Like It Is" / "Kitchen Blue" by David Wilcox. I mean the American singer-songwriter, not the Canadian singer, songwriter, and part-time TV dinner for polar bears who shares his name.

The song tells the story of how something that was unplanned and "not like all of the rest" may be exceptionally beautiful in its own way. In the song's storyline, an accidental paint splatter is art. The song explains how beauty doesn't always "match the magazine model". Normal stuff-- like paint-by-numbers art-- is not necessarily the best or most beautiful. You can read the lyrics on David Wilcox's website and listen to the song on YouTube. Please do; it has a wonderful message and life lesson in it.

Sophie's art is a tessellation because her tile shapes-- those multicolored paint splatters-- can completely fill a 2D surface without gaps and without overlaps. Everything fits. What's not explained, and which keeps me up late, wondering, is "How did Sophie make all those splatters splat identically? Was it serendipity or was it Sophie's choice?

Sophie used the Paper Cut method to make her tessellation.

This tessellation repeats via the translation (slide) method. That means the paint jars were all tipped in the same direction.

This tessellation is a clear example of the "TTTT" type in the Heesch tessellation classification system. That means, each tile touches four other tiles (that's why there are 4 "T"s), and translation (represented by each "T") is the only way they repeat.