Exploring Escher – Mathematics Printmaking Workshop

This resource provides materials to run a workshop about Escher’s printmaking, exploring the artist, his process and the mathematics underlying his work.  There is a practical art element which involves participants designing and printing their own piece of work.

This resource aims to show participants a creative side to mathematics.  Knowledge of symmetry (rotational and reflectional) is assumed but also explained within the resource.  The workshop is aimed at general public level – it is suitable for anyone with a basic understanding of geometry and symmetry. 

The workshops satisfy the following the MTH 3-19a and MTH 4-19a benchmarks from the Mathematics curriculum as well as the EXA 4-02a and EXA 4-06a benchmarks from the Expressive Arts curriculum.

Additional learning outcomes include:

  • To learn about the life and work of M.C. Escher
  • To understand how mathematics influenced Escher’s work
  • To learn about symmetries and wallpaper patterns
  • To be able to identify the wallpaper group of a tessellation design
  • To learn how to make lino prints

In this resource:

  • Workshop plan
    • Part 1: Presentation
    • Part 2: Designing a tessellating pattern
    • Part 3: Printmaking
    • Part 4: The mathematics behind your work
  • Presentation slides
    • Part 1: Who was Escher?
    • Part 2: Regular divisions of the plane
    • Part 3: Escher and mathematics
  • Presentation guide
  • Presentation content

This resource is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license and has been made available on TES Connect which hosts a range of lesson materials for early years, primary, secondary, and special needs teaching.

Exploring Escher – Mathematics Printmaking Workshop on TES Connect

Cover image is a photograph from the original workshop courtesy of the School of Mathematics.