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Graphic artist Maurits Cornelis “M.C.” Escher, inspired by the patterns and designs in Islamic art, designed and popularized many tiled, infinitely repeating patterns, called tessellations. Some of the most well known patterns involve animals such as birds, fish, beetles and lizards. You can make your own tessellating lizards for an art project or puzzle.
Copy the line patterns shown in the resources at the end of this article. Cut a square of cardstock so that each side of the square is equal to the length of each line pattern.
Place the cardstock over a larger sheet of paper that extends several inches past each of the cardstock's edges.
Trace the first line pattern – the one shaped like a letter “Z” – on the bottom edge of a cardstock square so the ends of the “Z” are flush with the two corners of the square. The top part of the “Z’ should go over the edge of the square onto the larger paper underneath. Continue tracing onto the paper underneath where the “Z” overlaps.
Trace the pattern again on the right edge of the square so the ends of the “Z” are flush with the two corners and the larger bottom part of the “Z” goes over the edge of the square.
Cut the cardstock along the traced lines.
Tape the cut out pieces to the square where the same shapes overlapped during the tracing process. Use the tracings on the larger paper as a guide to show where to place the cut outs.
Trace the second line pattern onto the top edge of the square so the ends of the line pattern align with the corners of the square. Place the pattern so the traced edges look like a lizard’s head and legs.
Trace the second line pattern onto the left edge of the square so that the traced edges look like a lizard’s tail and leg.
Cut the cardstock along the traced lines and tape the cut out pieces to the square at the points where the same shapes overlapped during the tracing process. You now have a lizard.
Trace this lizard onto other pieces of cardstock to make as many lizards as you wish. Alternately, trace the lizard onto a piece of paper or canvas, rotate it and trace it again so it interlocks with the first lizard. Continue rotating and tracing the lizard until the paper or canvas is filled.
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