Deconstructing a pattern

Flow plays an integral part of Creative Pattern Tangling.  In order to enter the ‘Zone’ and experience ‘Flow’ a couple of criteria must be met:

Flow requires the following:

• First, the activity must be challenging. Not too easy to be boring and not too difficult to cause anxiety.
• Second, the task has to be active and engaging.
• Third, the activity has to have clear parameters for success.
• Finally, the motivation for the activity must be coming from within; gaining personal satisfaction and be internally motivating to complete the task.

Depending on your skill level, creating a challenge becomes harder. Most of our pattern designers have become experts in CPT. They understand the principle of a Base Pattern, have practiced drawing the various shapes, and have understood and applied CPT Techniques.

That made me think about how I can create a stimulating challenge for them. We now have a weekly challenge in the pattern designer group where I introduce a pattern that requires deconstruction. While waiting at the optometrist, I noticed the decorative background and took a photo.

3Pair Photo

To make it easier, I used my Photoshop skills and inverted the image:

3Pair Photo inverted

What is the essence of this pattern?

First, I noticed the underlying grid:

3Pair Photo grid

Or the Hex Grid:

3Pair Photo Hex grid

And I prepared a step-out for it:

3Pair Hex Grid by Ina Sonnenmoser

Yes, it works, but Rolling Eye

Ellen Wolters gave it a go

3Pair Grid by Ellen Wolters

We then tried the ‘circle approach’:

3Pair Photo analyzed
There are 2 circles that interact with each other. The smaller circles I marked in red, and the larger in green on the above image.

Tricia Long gave it a try:

3Pair Circle by Tricia Long

And Ellen Wolters too:

3Pair Circle by Ellen Wolters

Images of possible step-outs were floating around everywhere! We had fun! 🙂

Eventually, we agreed on Hennie Brouwers approach:

3Pair by Hennie Brouwer

The reason why I showed you all these images is to demonstrate that patterns can be deconstructed in many different ways. There is no right or wrong. Depending on how you want to apply the pattern to your artwork, you might find the one way better suited than the other.

Here is another example of 2 ways to draw the same pattern:

Deconstruct alternatives

The more you familiarise yourself with the different CPT Techniques, the easier it will be to deconstruct patterns. A good way to practice is, take existing artwork and try to deconstruct one of the patterns without looking at the step-out. Then compare your results with the original pattern step-out.

I would like to add that deconstructing patterns is not a vital part of Creative Pattern Tangling. I see it more as an extension for advanced tanglers used for entertainment.

Creative Pattern Tangling’s essence is to arrange shapes into patterns, understanding patterns, playing with patterns. Step-outs are only used for inspiration and during the learning process of understanding patterns. Only once all these parameters are met, is it time to start deconstructing patterns.

And because it’s fun, we might post our weekly deconstructions on a regular base as a write-up.

We love to hear from you! Comment below or join our group on Facebook.



2 thoughts on “Deconstructing a pattern

  • August 16, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    This is wonderful.

  • August 16, 2019 at 11:39 pm

    Love seeing the process of deconstructing. Helps me see an overall picture more easily.


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