The next in the series of post combining Math and Art, we are going to consider the Mathematical beauty of String art.
The earliest examples of string art can be traced back to Mary Everest Boole, a mathematician who lived in the early 1900’s. She developed a style of ‘curve stitching’ to help children explore math though playful activities. The art developed in the 1960’s as a form of craft, using velvet covered boards, with string or wire stretched between nails.
The art produces beautiful geometric designs, the end result being a visual representation of what is known as a Bézier curve. If you would like to know more about the math behind these curves and where you can find them around you, this post by plus.math.org is very comprehensive!
Be amazed at the work of these artists:
Do it yourself kits for string art can be purchased. In Australia, you can find them at these stores:
- The String Art Co. – I love the look of their mini-beast kits for children.
- The Craft Vault – We used these kits. They are very child friendly with foam board and plastic ‘nails’.
- Modern Teaching Aids – If you want a more freedom to design your own, this is where you can buy supplies.
The children began playing with string art using an easy kit from Porta Craft.
We then explored further by creating our own design on a block of wood with nails.
- Firstly, draw your out-line on the wood.
- Hammer in nails to create the base for your work.
- Using different coloured yarn work your way around the design until you are please with the result.
- Add a picture hook on the back to hang and display your masterpiece.
Putting nails in timber is harder than it may seem. This is definitely an activity for older children. If you would like your younger children to create a piece on timber I suggest you prepare and place the nails for them.
I used a slice of Red Gum and followed the natural colour ring in the timber. For the sting, I used cotton sewing thread, gold embroidery floss and gold embellishing thread. Lastly I tucked in some beautiful feathers to finish off my design. The timber and feathers are from our property, I now have this little bit of outside hang in my living room.
If you would like some inspiration try these videos:
A form of string art can also be found in these stitched cards. Maybe you would like to try to make some to give away.
If you are looking for a math book to encourage your children to creatively look at math, I suggest This is Not A Math Book by Anna Weltman.
Email us a photo of your finished string masterpiece to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can add it to our Gallery!
Don’t forget our 2021 Art and Photography competition is open to Australian entries from Oct 22 to Nov 26. If you have had fun creating a String Masterpiece you can enter your creation using the entry form HERE.