Saturday, 12 April 2014

Art of Islamic patterns

Happy Weekend everyone!

Hope your week went well. Mine was spent learning and drawing Islamic patterns at the Art of Islamic Patterns intensive course. Since I am an Arab interior designer, people make the assumption that I am an expert in Islamic patterns and calligraphy even though I don't even mention them or add them to my designs. I decided to embrace the stereotype and go for it because I noticed that the number of Arab interior designers who know the real art of Islamic patterns is very limited.

The course was taught by Richard Henry and Adam Williamson who were extremely skilled. It is wonderful that they share their skills and techniques with the world. There are different course options from intensive to weekly on their websites. The intensive course was so much fun, but not as easy as I thought it would be.
Welcome to the studio!
The studio is located in Hackney Wick. The space is very inspiring and artistic. It is decorated with pieces from pervious projects. We all worked around one big table that was surrounded by backless high chairs.
The studio 
The week started with geometric patterns, where we were taught how to use the compass correctly. It was really amazing to see the results after we connected the right lines together.
Richard has some mad skills!
We learnt to do these amazing patterns! 
Here are some of the patterns we learnt in the course. We followed the steps and got results. Not as easy as it sounds. 

Can you see the mini star in the middle in yellow? 

These were cut out pieces and we put them into patterns.
Playing with patterns like that is really fun and you get surprising results.  
Collection of inspiring images taken by Richard and shown to the class
After learning some pattern basics and looking at the history of some patterns -and where they originated-, we moved to making ceramic tiles. The hands on part was GREAT! Adam was a real expert. He was super patient with all of us. He also taught us few free hand patterns.
Adam demonstrating how to make a clay tile and how to add an Islamic pattern design to it 
Class was buzzing with energy to make lots of tiles
We each got a ready plastered triangles. We had to copy our pattern on top. We used tools to shape it. Then we made clay models. After they were dried and baked, we sanded them and painted them. Below you can see the colour palette I was going for.
From Plaster to painted tiles

Overall, the week was full of creativity and I really enjoyed all the new skills I learnt. The other students were amazing and they all come from different backgrounds. It was really interesting meeting all of them. I highly recommend it. 

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