This is my photo or teachers learning about the junior high lesson, unpeeled project. I presented it at the Fall Confrence to fellow art teachers for Missouri Art Educators Association. Had about 40 attendees.
Here is the lesson.
“Only those who attempt the absurd achieve the impossible. I think its in my basement… Let me go upstairs and check.”
-M. C. Escher
Ribbon Based Transformation
Escher was a revolutionary artist for many reasons. Often bending reality for interesting visual effects, this artist utilized mathematics and creativity to make very unique art. One type of image I call Ribbon Imagery. “Bonds Of Union” -1956, “Rind”-1955, “Spirals”-1953 are all examples of a curling ribbon like structure that forms a greater image. As in the example above, it appears like the artist has peeled apart the subject and left openings. This illusion can be achieved by students from junior high to high school.
Materials: Prints or presentation of M. C. Escher’s work.
1. Start by showing a wide ribbon with curls. Next, draw on the board a scroll/ flag shape for students to practice. Once they get a simple one done, give them more challenging ones to try. Examples:
Basically, their understanding starts with a curvy line. The line extends on edges in one uniform direction, and then a back/bottom edge is added that matches. This initial stage is hard to describe and start understanding. With some practice, students start getting the concept.
2. Stage 2 practices start by lightly drawing a cylinder shape, and try to get the thing to look like a ribbon with gaps. Shade the back sections darker, and towards the edges of the front of the ribbon. Example:
3. Show a power point presentation of some M.C. Escher images that have this similar transformation. (I can send you mine from Smartboard Notebook if you e-mail me.) Several include, “Spirals- 1953, Moebius Strip I-1961, Bonds of Union, Spiral Sphere, and Rind.
4. Students draw an object for transformation. I typically have books of animals and cars available for those who can’t come up with their own ideas.
5. Once it is drawn, then some parts are removed and strips are drawn along to make ribbons. They should curl, especially at the edges, as if a graph was run across the surface. The lines should in other words show the contours of the object. (forming bumps up where necessary, and indenting in as well.)
6. The ribbon form is finished by connecting one row to the next in the empty space. This should make it appear as the object is hollow and you are seeing all the way to the other side where the ribbon continues. A left top side “connects” visually to a top right side of the row above or below, or vice –versa. As it passes behind itself or another ribbon, it disappears, but if the direction of line is correct, eye will visually connect the two via the implied line.
7. The front is colored like normal, and the back with some contrasting color., again, like ribbon, going from light to dark near the edges….