discovered curve stitching in junior high school. This technique,
invented by Englishwoman Mary
Everest Boole (1832–1916) in 1904, produces apparent curves by
means of perfectly straight lines. Mary Boole worked with thread and cardstock,
though I personally have only worked with pen or pencil on paper and,
more recently, with a computer. Curve stitching relies on the fact that
a curve can be approximated by a finite number of closely spaced
tangents, and the archetypal curve-stitch figure is that of the
parabola, shown at the right.
Over the years, I have been less interested in devising new
curve-stitch designs than I have been of executing designs really well.
When I was in high school, however, I did develop one design, which I
call a curve-stitch isometric cube, and which I executed with great
success (and much tedium) by hand.
Now that I have my own computer and some arcane programming skills,
executing designs (and even exploring new designs) has become much
easier. I still use pencil and paper, of course, but I have also found
it convenient to create designs through programming. This can be almost
as tedious as working with pen and ink, but it has the advantage that
mistakes generally don’t make me start over from the beginning.
Moreover, once I get a program right, I can reproduce a design
effortlessly and at will.
Below are links to a discussion of my curve-stitch isometric cube, as
well as to other new designs.
In response to a number of requests for advice about producing
designs using a computer, i have added a page on the topic. This is
technical and not for everyone, but it will, I hope, be useful to some
I am happy to report that some of my designs have appeared
in a book by Chinese teacher and new media artist Zhang Yanxiang. The
book is Contemporary Art of Science and Technology (Science
Press, ISBN 978-7-03-020415-8). The rather nice cover is reproduced at
the right. (Click on this and following pictures to view a larger
version.) Four of my
designs related to those in “Some Circular Designs” and “More
Generalizations” (links below) appear in
Yanxiang’s book. Here
are reproductions of the pages containing them (my designs are the top
two on each page:
In 2014, my curve-stitch isometric cube (see link below) appeared on the cover
of an issue of Vinculum, a journal of the Mathematical
Association of Victoria. In 2015, another of my designs appeared on the
cover of Vinculum.
— LED, 1/8/2008, rev. 4/21/2023