Playing With Patterns


Art from the outside world. Black Southern Belle: 5 Pieces of Juneteenth Art We Adore!


Motif, the thing that gets repeated.

Block repeat






Source of terms. BBC: Bitesize, Pattern. With gorgeous examples.

More terms. So many terms. Artlandia: Pattern Design Terms Defined and Illustrated. Pattern design software.

Turns out there are only so many ways to repeat a motif. “A wallpaper pattern (also known as a plane crystallographic group) is a pattern with translation symmetry in two directions … In 1891 E. S. Fedorov proved that there are exactly 17 possible wallpaper patterns.” Mathematical Association of America, wallpaper pattern.

How to omit words from a search, so one is not reading about dress patterns. ClickMinded: Tutorial: How to Exclude Words From Google Search. Yi, 2022.


6 thoughts on “Playing With Patterns

  1. Wonderful! Have you ever done an art gum erasure stamp? Easy to cut, and works best with simple asymmetrical designs such as you sued here. It lends itself to this sort of patterning on paper or cloth.

    1. Art gum erasures come in cubes or oblongs about 1″x1″x1″ or 2″ long. They are used because the erasure crumbles rather than damaging paper. Even when I was a child, the cubes were used to carve square stamps—way easier to cut the lino blocks and thus safer. I used an art gum erasure stamp to decorate paper for an album cover in 7th grade (I was born in 1952). When I was teaching high school, if I could spare a day off at the end of the year, we cut stamps with exact knives and stamped cards. If you search “artgum erasure” you will find them everywhere art supplies are sold. They tend to be flatter these days, but you can still find a 1″ square—two square surfaces rather than 6 in th old days, but you could never cut more than two anyway.

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