Daily Archives: 28/08/2013

Resources – Eric Broug’s Islamic Geometric Patterns

I decided to change the new categories to ‘Resources’ from ‘Review’ because it sound like I am an expert on everything Islamic art…Which I am not.

Anyway, For this new category, I would like to point out a book which will be very helpful for anyone who would like to see the construction of the Islamic Geometric art or are interested in constructing some themselves!

Islamic Geometric Pattern (ISBN 978-0-500-28721-7) is the perfect book for anyone who are interested in the Islamic Geometric Art, from the beginner to the advanced level. In this book it gives an introduction to the Islamic Geometric Pattern, the basics of the designs as well as showing notable examples around the Islamic world, showing how to make them step by step, divided into categories of levels of difficulty. The information contained in this book is concise and easy enough for beginners to understand. The book also includes a nifty CD for additional learning materials and information (I am not sure if the CD is compatible with Mac, I am a PC user)

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I only knew of this book when Mr. Broug invited me into his group, Broug Ateliers For Islamic Geometrical Design, on Facebook. I have no idea about this book at all. For several months I was following the group and only then I learned of the book…which I regret not knowing it early on because it would make my learning of the Islamic Geometric art easier! The book gives a straightforward yet very informative look into the subject, so if you are just starting to learn, I suggest you start with this book.

I was actually looking around bookshops in Brunei for this book, but those bookstores only stock dreary love novels and other fictions. My only choice for buying non-fiction books is the internet. I found the book on Amazon.com AND it was on sale! If you have difficulty on obtaining this great book, you should consider Amazon or Barnes and Nobles, or other online bookstores.

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Again, this is a great book for everyone especially for beginners. It is packed with straightforward and clear information about the Islamic geometric art, and a valuable reference.

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Busy, busy August!

It has been a very, very busy month for me! For starters, Muslims fasted for several days into August, and celebrated the Eid  on the 9th or 10th, depending on your country of residence (for us Bruneians, it had become a ‘tradition’ for us to celebrate the Eid one day later than other surrounding countries, so we celebrate on the 10th). It has been a hectic day and night, trying to make the house look presentable and to prepare foods and drinks for serving the guests on the eid during the day, and hopefully, making the most of the last days of Ramadan and searching for the special night, the Lailatul Qadr, in the evening.

As I had just restarting my halted dreams of furthering my studies, and starting my new semester in an online university this year, I have to sit for the final exams. Which starts on the 12th. That means just two days after the Eid. It has been a long standing tradition of the Muslim Malays in this region to celebrate Eid all month long – The houses are kept open for relatives and friends to come and visit, food and drinks kept being served, almost daily invites to feasts, all month long. For the exams, I had to travel to the neighbouring state capital called Kota Kinabalu, which is 6 hours minimum car travel.

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The countryside on our way to Kota Kinabalu

Along the way, I get to see many things. As Malaysia is a predominantly Muslim country (Although Sabah, of which Kota Kinabalu is its city, many of its citizens are Christians) Islamic architecture and its influences are everywhere, just like in Brunei, but not as  prevalent. Half way going to the city for a lunch stop, in a waterfront shopping area, there was a tower with a clearly Islamic influence complete with a onion shaped dome on top…On closer inspection that said tower is actually a water tower.

1The Water Tower in front of the sea view shops

In the city itself there are a number of mosques that are note-worthy – these will be featured in the following posts. The place where my exam was held is a mosque of the local university, perched upon a hill with spectacular views of the city. It also featured very impressive usage of Islamic ornamentation throughout the place.  We spend some time sightseeing the city, especially considering I have not visited it for several years (almost a decade, actually) and I have very vague recollection of my last trip.

3A view from our balcony in our rented apartment. From the distance you can see the Mount Kinabalu range; the mountain itself is on the east side, exactly where the sun rises every morning.

I will post about the mosques we went through as I had mentioned, as well as the articles under new categories I had mentioned before.

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