group project

Gathering Stars

Cynthia, Tile #28 Star 2
Cynthia, Tile #28 Star 2

I’ve been working on putting together the colored paper tiles people have sent me for my gathering of stars (see Invitation to My Sandbox).  This will be a short post to let those of you are participating to let you  know that I am in the assembly stage, and that it’s going well, and to say thank you again to all the people who are participating.

Also, I wanted to publicly answer a question my friend Rowan Jai asked as he handed me his tile, just before heading back to college in NYC. He asked if I would be doing any more of these stars? I am assembled two of them at the moment, but he wanted to know if this would be all. I told him I hope to keep doing these for the rest of my life. It’s not that I want to do this project exclusively, but I can see this project being repeated at the summer lunch program for children in our community, at schools that I teach in, and at all sorts of gatherings of people that I am part of. I see this as an on-going project that supports my belief in diversity and unity. There’s no reason to ever consider it ending.

Iva,Red and Gray tile #21
Iva,Red and Gray tile #21

For now, though, my focus will be on getting these first two stars together well. I have to sharpen up some of my computer skills, but that’s happening just fine. The toughest part so far is getting lost in the unexpected patterns that are emerging. At the corners where the different tiles meet, triangles and other shapes come together, colored by different people, and create the most beautifully filled in shapes. This project is fertile ground for surprises as I have not been able to even begin to envision what the final look of the stars will be. One thing that I had hoped is in fact happening, and that is that the underlying geometry of the 12-fold  rosette is beautifully, gracefully, and effortlessly holding together all the various decisions that people have overlaid on their own piece of star.

There are still few small edges that I can send out to people to color. I had planned to color these in myself, but I am happy to send them to anyone who would like to be part of this project. Be in touch by email at paula12fold at gmaildotcom or leave a comment below.




Invitation to My Sandbox


12 fold star
12 fold star

For the next couple of weeks I would like to focus on a collaborative project and I hope you will join me.

Your part will be to  color in a small image (which I will send to you)  that is no larger than a 3.5 inch (9 cm) square. After you color it in with your favorite drawing tool send a scanned version back to me.

A printable sheet of the sequence of steps

Notice from the drawings in the image above that I want you define the pattern that you color in, using whatever grouping of shapes that appeal to you.  What is so interesting to me about these geometric constructions is that they can be partitioned in so many interesting ways.

The tiles  that I have look something like this:

Sample of four tiles. one of which I am asking you to color in
Sample of four tiles

Each tile is one of thirty-six parts of this rosette:

2 Fold Rosette
12 Fold Rosette, made after watching a video by Lex Wilson who learned it from a book by Eric Broug

These constructions have their roots in Islamic Geometry; the brilliance and beauty of these stars have been globally influential for centuries. I am being intentional about symbolically gathering together under these stars as a statement in support of diversity and unity.

As soon as I receive peoples’ tiles I will digitally trim, vectorize and  stitch them together. The fully assembled stars will be posted by late January.

For the next couple of weeks I will be focusing on getting the pieces of this project together.

I will email a tile to you if you leave me a comment or send me an email. The first part of the email address is  paula12fold  and the second part is

In case you are wondering, YES! I want your children to participate in this too.

IF you would just like to color in a twelve-fold star (they are so incredibly beautiful) here’s a page for you:12-fold-with-outlines

And here’s some inspiration, demonstrating the versatility of this structure:two-12-foldsIf you have a classroom of students( or a big family) you can do this project yourself. Just download my PDF of the tiles and assemble them in six by six grid. Each tile comes with a number; numbers 1 -6 make up the top row. Be sure to keep the number with the tile until it finds its place in the star.  You must send me a photo of the finished star if you do this! Your finished image will be about 21 inches across (about 53  square centimeters).

A partially filled 12-fold Rosette
Getting Started

Ready to get started? Tell me how to send you a tile over the internet.

Wishing you a good holiday season.


Addendum: some examples of colored tiles

Also here’s the PDF of the Star Files so you can do this project with your own circle of people