String Art Workshop at IISER Pune: A Creative STEM Challenge for Teachers' Day


Last month, I had the opportunity to visit IIT GN and stumbled upon an intriguing form of art known as String Art in the college canteen. The concept of creating intricate images using just strings and a specific number pattern fascinated me. Eager to explore this art form further, I returned to my campus at IISER Pune and delved into the world of String Art. During my research, I discovered various open-source software and GitHub repositories dedicated to creating these captivating designs. I realized that String Art primarily relies on the intersections and negative space created during the weaving of threads.

Teachers’ Day Special:

In preparation for Teachers’ Day at IISER Pune, we decided to celebrate with a unique STEM challenge involving five local schools. Our goal was to create an image of the eminent philosopher and statesman, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, using String Art. I undertook the task of programming the design, which involved arranging 288 pins in a circular pattern and plotting 4000 lines to create the desired image. We accomplished this using Inkscape, a vector graphics editor.

Materials Used:

To execute this project successfully, we gathered the following materials:

  1. 12mm foam board

  2. Black Thread (12 pieces, 30 meters each)

  3. Iron Nails (288 pieces)

Collaborative Effort:

On Teachers’ Day, we invited all five teachers from the participating schools to present their String Art creations to their students and fellow participants. It was a collaborative and educational experience that allowed everyone to explore their creativity through mathematics and art.
Following School teachers participated in the String Art challenge:

  1. Mrs. Rajashree Pawar (BJS Secondary and Higher Secondary School, Wagholi)
  2. Ms. Manisha Nahar (H.H.C.P High School for Girls, Laxmi Road, Pune)
  3. Mr. Angad Shinde (Shriram Madhyamic vidhyalaya, Ramnagar, Bhosari, Pune)
  4. Mrs. Monali Tanpure (Huzurpaga Katraj Primary School, Pune)
  5. Mr. Bhagwan Pandekar (Laxmanrao Apte Prashala, Pune)

Discussion with Arvind Gupta Ji:

I had the privilege of discussing String Art with Arvind Gupta Ji during his visit to the IISER Pune campus on September 2, 2023, when he delivered a talk in celebration of Teachers’ Day. We exchanged ideas and insights, further enriching my understanding of this captivating art form.

Future Endeavors:

I thoroughly enjoyed organizing and participating in this String Art activity, and I am excited about creating more intricate images in the future. This experience has not only expanded my knowledge but also allowed me to share the joys of STEM and artistic expression with others.

Attached Code and Images:

For your reference, I have attached the code used for creating the String Art, as well as a selection of images capturing the teachers and students engrossed in the creative process.

In conclusion, String Art has proven to be a wonderful avenue for combining science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and art. This Teachers’ Day celebration showcased the power of collaboration and creativity, leaving us inspired to explore new horizons in the world of String Art.

code (1).pdf (205.8 KB)


Interesting. If I want to make, let us say, a cat’s face or a running horse instead, how do I go about it without using the program by uploading a picture?