طارق (Tarek)'s Reviews > Islamic Geometric Patterns [With CDROM]

Islamic Geometric Patterns [With CDROM] by Eric Broug
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M 50x66
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it was ok
bookshelves: architecture, art

I was told by an expert on Islamic geometric art that Eric Broug's work contains many mistakes. I didn't think much of the comment, and have attended 3 of his lectures and workshops since then, and purchased this book at one of those workshops.

Unfortunately, I've discovered problems with the work myself. Look at the pattern on page 55 - the Alhambra alicatado. Then look at an actual photograph of the pattern. They aren't the same at all. Broug's construction is mirrored and slanted from the original, and doesn't even the resolve the centres. This is a glaring mistake. The real pattern doesn't even tile on a pointed hexagon like in his drawing, it tiles on a flat hexagon.

The concept of the book is great, but I feel that Broug has simplified many of the patterns to make the steps shorter and fewer. As others have pointed out, he treats the designs as single motifs and has only chosen patterns that tile with squares and hexagons. There are actually far more difficult patterns out there that tile with a mixture of rotated squares and hexagons and rhombi. This means that the entire book is actually easy level. I don't know whether all of these patterns truly tesselate in simple grids as he's done, or whether he has simplified the tiling. However, from my experience, patterns often tesselate with interstitial shapes in between the hexagons and squares. He leaves this aspect of the geometric art out of the book entirely and never discusses it.

The best thing about the book really is 'Chapter 1: the Basics' where he explains to beginners the construction techniques behind square, hexagonal, and pentagonal patterns. This is a valuable introduction since so many other authors skip this and go straight into specific patterns. However, I find his simplification of the patterns and the existence of glaring mistakes like the Alhambra pattern to be sloppy and insulting to the artists and craftsmen who first designed these patterns. If you can't get the pattern right in this 8-step format, then perhaps the format is just wrong.

I will update the review as I find more mistakes.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
January 28, 2018 – Shelved
January 28, 2018 – Shelved as: architecture
January 28, 2018 – Shelved as: art
January 28, 2018 – Finished Reading

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