Marina Meyerson - Junior, Graphic Design major

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Materials and Process

• Pencil
• Paper
• Computer with monitor
1. First I made a petal-like shape, which I then reflected vertically once.
2. Then I reflected those two shapes horizontally, and came out with a four-petaled flower or four-pointed star shape.
3. I proceeded to translate this shape two more times vertically to make three rows.
4. Each time I translated the shape, I made sure that outer two edges of the top and bottom of the new flower touched the outermost edges of the previous flower's top and bottom right edges.
5. Afterwards, I translated the whole row of three horizontally four more times.
6. I ended up with a total of five rows and three columns of the flower shape, which can also be read as ten rows and six columns of the petal-like shape.

Artist's Narrative

This exercise was inspired by J. Bourgoin's Arabic Geometrical Pattern and Design. I find myself very intrigued by the delicateness of the final pattern. I like the fact that it reflects its method of creation with the underlying grid, but it still seems to maintain a sense of fluidity and airiness. I'm also happy to see that symmetry is something that I tend to create even when I don't realize it. I like the thought of unity and the construction of a whole through repetition of smaller integral parts. I decided not to include color because this way the eye can pick its own pattern and it looks more like equal harmony. For example, when you look at it sideways, you see a more diagonal pattern and not a square grid, which one tends to see when looking at it straight on.

Teacher's Comment

In Bourgoin's Arabic Geometrical Pattern & Design (Dover Publications, New York 1973), 190 Islamic patterns are presented in line drawings that also show lines of construction. All of the patterns are composed of circles, with arcs and/or straight line segments visible in the final drawing; all of the patterns may be made using a straight edge (or ruler) and a compass. In this practicum, however, the starting form was not a circle but a petal-shape (with curvature that is not uniform), so that the resulting pattern created by horizontal and vertical reflections does not contain circles or arcs; the underlying grid for this pattern is rectangular rather than square.