String figure glossary

Persistent Vision

string figure

Invented by Martin Probert 2002. A repeating string figure.

Construction time: 10 seconds for the first figure, 2 seconds for each repetition.

  1. Use a 0.80 metre wide loop.
  2. Form an eye (see Eye of the Cyclops).
  3. The eye consists of four triangles, one at each corner, and a diamond in the centre. Dip the index and middle fingers down into the corner triangles, one into each triangle, and, by bringing all four fingers up inside the central diamond, pick up the four sides of the diamond, one side to be picked up on each of the fingers.
  4. Release the thumbs and little fingers.
  5. Insert each thumb from below up into the index loop, and insert each little finger from below up into the middle finger loop.
  6. Release the index and middle fingers, and spread the thumbs and index fingers.
  7. The eye has reappeared, and reappears with each successive repetition of the last four steps. You have Persistent vision.
  8. To dissolve the figure, release all fingers except the left thumb, then gently open out the left thumb loop.

Copyright © Martin Probert 2003
HOME PAGE: The Survival, Origin and Mathematics of String Figures