Mats, Pockets and Woven Polyhedra

Our first larger project involved experimentation with techniques derived from the mat weaving, or plaiting practiced in the South Pacific, a pocket-shaped artefact that we found in the Constance Howard Collection at Goldsmiths College, and polyhedra made of woven paper strips. These techniques can be used with a variety of materials, natural and man-made, as long as they consist of long, essentially flat strips of even width (at least 1:60).

Materials readily available to us meant that we focused on the use of paper strips, most often made by running pastel paper through a shredder.

Making with rigour in this context focused on the mathematical ideas involved in:

  • The shapes that are possible using specific techniques
  • The path travelled by individual strands in a completed artefact
  • The colour-and-weave and other patterns that occur on the surface of the artefacts, e.g. how the colours of multiple strands interact with each other
  • The technical constraints of the process of making