Sarah Hanson - Sophomore, Ceramics major

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Materials and Process

  • Markers
  • Paper
  1. The pattern is constructed using a square grid, then folding everything in two (by triangles).
  2. Drawing with markers, I colored the vertical hexagons all the same color (olive green), except for the middle row and corner quarters.
  3. Then I colored the horizontal hexagons peach, except for the top and bottom end-halves to break the symmetry.
  4. Then I colored in the other shapes.

Artist's Narrative

This is a self-contained pattern constructed from an infinitely repeating pattern, arbitrarily cut off. For this pattern, I chose to use a repeat that is used on the grounds around the Taj Mahal. My use of color, however, makes this pattern change from an infinitely repeating one to a pattern of self-containment. I did this because I am intrigued by Islamic artists' use of symmetry-breaking. The green and turquoise reflect an Islamic influence on color. Often times, artists of Islamic tradition create rug colors with closely related colors, forcing the viewer to study it to see where one geometric shape ends and another begins.

Teacher's Comment

This rectangular composition is based on a square grid with order four rotational symmetry. But the use of four colors changes the symmetry and establishes multiple rhythms of green forms (aligned vertically), blue forms (offset vertically), and orange forms (aligned on the diagonal), all set within a simple border. The hexagonal forms as design elements bear affinities to cut gemstones, a relationship that is visually reinforced both by the colors and by the lighter tones at the center of each form, suggesting a raised surface. "Jowhar" is a term used in Arabic and Persian for "gemstone," and itself carries an allusion to Aristotelian usage in the Islamic tradition for discourse on "substance."

more by Sarah Hanson || back to other students' practicums



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