Tag Archives: pattern


Joseph Maria Olbrich, Ornament, 1904. Darmstadt, Germany. © Photo Kunstbibliothek Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Dietmar Katz.


I find myself endlessly drawn to things from the Medieval period. I like their austere beauty – no fuss, no frills, just plain, simple lines. Church of St. Margarets, St Benedicts Street, Norwich, UK



17th-century Middle Eastern tile from Hali


Square kufic roundel from the Topkapi Scroll, a compilation of architectural theory and design assembled by medieval Iranian builders. 16th century.


Shibori Haori – Japan – Taisho (1912-1926)

An unusual shibori haori, featuring an extremely large and bold interlocking “asanoha” motif. The six-pointed star asanoha motif has been a popular motif for many centuries in Japan, and is based on the shape of the hemp leaf. It is a non-seasonal auspicious motif that is commonly utilized on baby cloths: reflecting hemp’s fertile and durable nature, in the hope that the child will stay healthy and grow big like hemp. The use of the asanoha motif – especially so bold – is unusual on a woman’s outer garment. Some historical background: hemp was not only used to make thread, rope and cloth, but in early times in Japan it was also used to make pendants (nusa) displayed at Shinto shrines. During the Heian period, hemp was also burned at the Bon Festival in midsummer to light departed spirits on their way.


Stanley Tigerman, Six Planar Forms with Columns, Walls, Buttresses