Elaine Krajenke Ellison
Retired high school mathematics teacher, retired high school mathematics methods teacher, West Lafayette High School, Purdue University
"The appreciation and demystification of mathematics is a common thread
the runs through my mathematical art. After using a variety of media including
bronze, drawing, glass, and painting, I settled on quilts in the early l980's.
The quilts serve as a visual introduction that allow students to explore mathematics
as they gain more insights. As the number of quilts increased each year, I was
able to write lesson plans for the quilts. The quilt topics were based on what
topics I was teaching at the time-mostly geometry and algebra. From this beginning,
Mathematical Quilts a nd More Mathematical Quilts was published. Over the years
I have been sharing my love of mathematics with quilt groups, mathematics groups,
museums, and various other interested groups. I look forward to meeting mathematicians
that have inspired my teaching over the years at the Bridges 2008 Conference."
“Leonardo's Claw and Il Leone Di Venezia meet the Cosmati ”
2006, Quilt out of 100% cotton, 40.5 inches diameter
Leonardo da Vinci's work with trying to "square the circle" generated many interesting
designs-amongst them Leonardo's Claw. In this quilt, the gold claw area is equal
to the square that is inscribed in the claw! The Cosmati tiles divide the circle
into 35 equal areas-very much similar to the Cosmati tiles in the 12th and 13th
2007, Quilt our of 100% cotton, 32.5 inches by 52.5 inches
“ Bubbles and Buckeyballs ”
The fascination with Buckeyballs and bubbles began with my studies in mathematics
and nature. The pattern of hexagons and pentagons caged in a ball lends itself
to the Buckeyballs many uses: drug design, microscope tips, making oil slicker,
sponging liquids during surgery, and so on. The bubbles representing the maximum
volume for the minimum surface area have a similar shape to the Buckeyballs.
2003, Quilt out of 100% cotton, 39 inches by 59 inches
“ Chartres Cathedral Labyrinth”
After seeing the interest last year in labyrinths at the Bridges Conference, I
thought participants would like to see the Chartres Labyrinth in cloth. The labyrinth
having only one pathway to the final goal: the center of the labyrinth
1993, Quilt of 100% cotton, 39 inches by 39 inches
“ The Clifford Torus ”
My high school students were fascinated with beginning the adventure of exploring
higher dimensional forms. The Clifford Torus was the perfect example of such a
surface. The torus was named for the English mathematician William Clifford (1845-1879).
The design was inspire by the computer graphic images of Dr. Thomas F. Banchoff.