Couture Maths: A Kaleidocycle Headpiece

For many years I have been inspired by the art of M C Escher and recently was lucky enough to visit the museum in his honour in The Hague, Netherlands.

My first proper hat collection contained a fascinator based on Escher’s Mobius strip and I was a runner-up in the Hat Designer of the Year in 2009 with a similar headpiece.

The Mobius Strip headpiece from my first hat collection
The Mobius Strip fascinator as part of my entry in the Hat Designer of the Year competition 2009

Way back in the mists of time, my first maths lesson at secondary school was making 3-D mathematical models. If that’s all that maths was about, then I would have been delighted. Sadly, the curriculum moved on and it wasn’t until winter 2019 that I had an opportunity to have another go.

I discovered this book tucked away in a second-hand bookshop in Frome (lovely Town and well worth a visit.

I have translated and adapted the templates given in the book to enable me to use silk (my favourite fabric) and still get nice sharp corners and edges on each triangle piece.

I made three headpieces using different coloured silk and different sizes of kaleidocycle. One has three points in the centre, one four and one five. Each silk piece worked as a kaleidocycle when joined together (it continuously turns in on itself) and was then stitched into place on a specially made wire head fitting.

Here’s a video demo of how the kaleidocycle works.

A little bit of embellishment was added and now we have Couture Maths!

Link to Escher in Het Paleis museum, Den Haag, Netherlands here

Link to Visit Frome Here

Published by Sarah McAlister Hat Maker and Textile Artist

I make all my lovely hats, caps and textiles by hand.

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