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Second pattern trials: Working on Islamic inspired patterns

It is time to be moving on from the Pueblo inspired patterns of South West of America across the continents to Islamic inspired patterns of the Middle East. Well, there is a lot that could be said about this at this point of time in world history but has happened unintentionally.

Anyway, the use of patterns particularly within Islamic architecture is bold and unapologetic if not, in some cases, rather bling. Patterns are often textural through the use of extensive carvings but also colourful through the use of tiles. Many Islamic patterns involve stylised floral designs but I want to concentrate on their geometric designs. What I didn't realise was how very complicated and sophisticated these patterns are.

For Christmas I was given a very good book Islamic Geometric Design by Eric Broug. Not only has it beautiful photos of many examples of Islamic architecture but it also shows diagrams of how some of the basic patterns are constructed. I tried to copy some of the 'easy' ones and found them rather challenging. They are based on total precision and draftsmanship and on a profound understanding of geometry. I'm totally in awe.

So, once I borrowed my daughter's compass and ruler I started copying four-fold, five-fold and six fold patterns.

Once I had the bare skeleton of these patterns I make up my own patterns without referencing any more specific examples within the books. I went on to colour them in and then duplicated them to make them into pattern grids.

Here is my first try at a four-fold pattern:

So, using the basic grid on the top left I created the other nine patterns.I went on to scan eight of them and grid up on the computer.

I noticed that in a grid they changed their characteristics. So, I went on to make more different four-fold patterns:

Six-fold patterns:

Five-fold patterns:

Sixfold patterns:

This is all very nice to do in a sketch book and with the help of a computer but how I'll apply this knowledge to my pottery remains to be tested and seen. One thing is for sure, it doesn't appeal to me as naturally as the Pueblo style patterns did.

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