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 century.

“ Bubbles and Buckeyballs ”

2007, Quilt our of 100% cotton, 32.5 inches by 52.5 inches

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.

“ Chartres Cathedral Labyrinth”

2003, Quilt out of 100% cotton, 39 inches by 59 inches

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

“ The Clifford Torus ”

1993, Quilt of 100% cotton, 39 inches by 39 inches

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.