Category Archives: Internet Finds

Things of interest regarding Islamic art and architecture off the internet

Qatar Museums’ Pattern Canvas Online App

So I recovered *some* of the Oman exhibit photos from my rapidly deteriorating laptop, and I am desperate to find ways on how to get my photos off it before it goes six feet under. Though I did managed to transfer those photos safely to my external hard drive, then WordPress -or rather, my internet connection,- does not allow them to be uploaded to the blog.

Also, Do you remember the thing I posted about crowdfunding thing? Yeah….it’s not going to happen. apparently us Bruneians don’t deserve crowdfunding. The funding I am only entitled to are interest-laden loan schemes offered by the banks. Goodbye, new computer.

*smh*

Anyway, while waiting for the other photos of the Oman exhibit to come up and be upload-able to the blog, I was lead to yet another fun app on the internet, for you to use for your Islamic Geometric Design needs.

Behold, the Qatar Museums’ Pattern Canvas – Play Designer app. Whew, that’s a mouthful. Please click on the photo to access the app.

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What you have here is an offering from the Qatar Museums that allows you to play with a number of geometric shapes – namely triangle, square, circle and diamond – and arrange them on a blank canvas to create a diverse, kaleidoscopic designs of geometrical beauty, or chaos, whichever you choose.

You are offered a number of tools to help you create your masterpieces. You can choose from six different colours for the borders of the shape and the shape themselves, the thickness (or absence of) the borders of the shapes, reflections (or symmetry, as we geometry lovers would have referred to) of the shapes ranging from two to eight reflections, as well as a slider to control the size of the shapes you would like them to appear on the canvas.

While you are drawing on the canvas, you can freeze the shapes drawn on the canvas with a click of the mouse. Unfortunately you cannot choose whether your next pattern can be overlaid on top of the previous drawing or be combined with it – it is always the former. Too bad because it will create a plethora of patterns just with that small little detail.

It is not as robust and as interesting as the Taprats java app I introduced some time ago, but it is a nice distraction and a simple way to create patterns – which, somehow in my case, looks vaguely Islamic, but more of a psychedelic, 60’s 70’s inspired mandala designs, what with all that striking in your face colours.

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One of my patterns made with the app. Rather bland, I must say

While you play around with the app, please allow me to rummage through my storage for my Oman photos. It is got to be somewhere…

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Internet Finds – A website for DIYers with Islamic Inspiration

I am currently working on a number of projects that really got hold of my time daily, I hardly have any moment to spare for blogging, and I truly apologize. The new semester will be starting soon for my university as well, so you can imagine how packed my daily schedule is!

I have found this website late last year while I was looking for ideas to decorate my new room soon,  and I was meaning to post it around late December (see what I mean?) This website, managed by a Muslim Arab-American woman by the name of  Lama, has tons and tons of contents and decorating ideas inspired by Islamic designs.

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She also has a page dedicated for stencils and decals that you may be able to use for your own projects. As a fellow DIYer and an admirer of the Islamic art, I am truly amazed by her work. She also has a shop, which sells various products made from fabric, decorated with calligraphy works, but the shop is not ready yet. She does have an Etsy shop  Although I had not purchased anything from the shop yet nor have I inquired her of purchasing her products, but I am particularly fond of the Quran covers she offered at her shop.

 

Please click on any of the pictures to go to her website directly at http://homesynchronize.com

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Internet Finds – Geomation

I have been meaning to post this for quite a while now, since I saw it from a page in Facebook. Unfortunately the video on the page were only made available to be shared on Facebook, not on  blogs. Also it disappeared from Facebook pretty quickly.So I was scampering to find the video on youtube, not knowing what the title was. Turns out the title of the video was simply Geomation (D’oh!)

This video showcases an animation of a geometric pattern from the Alcazar, Seville in Spain. The pattern is quite a common one, and it looks simple enough from the start. However it becomes complicated with the number of eight pointed stars featured on the pattern, as well as the intersecting lines – it will definitely be very difficult for beginners to follow and very confusing.

The music of the video is rather creepy for me, but bear with it and watch as lines and circles forms into stars and diamonds before your eyes.

Drawn animation of a geometric pattern from the Alcazar, Seville, Spain.

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Internet Finds – More Islamic Art Influenced Interior Design

I actually saw these articles from one of my favourite website, Apartment Therapy, in early February. However, I keep forgetting to post  plus I was a bit too busy since the beginning of the year that I only remembered just recently. It is a funny thing too, because I find them very interesting and also I actually gasped and wowed at the second one!

All pictures are courtesy of Apartment Therapy. Please click on the images to go directly to the articles.

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The first articles takes a peek into the apartment of a Venezuelan lawyer and focuses on her custom made Mandala bookcase. The Mandala design looks -and certainly can be described as – an Islamic 12 pointed star. According to Veronica, the owner of the unique bookcase, she wanted a library, but also wanted to be different, so she commissioned a carpenter to make it for her. I liked that she added Oriental style accessories to the room i.e the rug and the lantern in the middle of the coffee table.

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The second is a before-and-after article, a very dramatic transformation of a plain small room into a very busy-yet-peaceful dining room. Perhaps it is the Moroccan Zellige inspired wallpapers that strikes me the most, but actually it is the harmony of the patterns in the room that really amazed me. The whole room is designed by Matthew Patrick Smyth, who is obviously inspired by Moroccan patterns, and added modern, minimalistic furniture to it.

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Internet Finds – TEDxSummit intro: The power of x

A few weeks ago, my facebook wall was quite abuzz with this video about something mentioning a dance that imitates the Islamic geometry design. Comments were all positive, many say it was very impressive, some say amazing. I was, of course, very interested and excited to see what is it all about! However, having a very undependable internet connection, I couldn’t open the video at all, not even in the lowest quality possible! For shame..

Now, in the dead of the night, I can finally see the whole video on an acceptable setting and by goodness the comments were right, he video is just amazing to see!

I quote the description in the video page on Youtube –

Dancers + camera + kaleidoscope = this infinitely gorgeous short video. (Watch in 1080p fullscreen if you can.) It’s made for TEDxSummit, an unprecedented gathering of TEDx organizers from around the world– and the video celebrates “the power of x” to multiply great ideas.

The video, as the description above said, were a combination of many artistic elements. The whole video was shot using an eighteen metre tall mirrored triangular structure (imagine that!) with the help of dancers whose choreography created designs with their poses. Since they were using a triangle structure, the designs recreated were six-pointed in nature – hexagrams and hexagons. It is simply a sight to behold!

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Internet Finds – Mihrab Musings

Somehow my connection is still problematic here, but I am trying my best to fix it. In the meantime, I am posting an article, while the connection is running adequately.

I went this Tumblr site a few weeks back thanks to a fellow Islamic Art aficionado and I had been hooked since. Though I should post this long ago, the internet is really faulty I can only post it now. (Please click on the picture to go to the link)

Mihrab Musings is a Tumblr site of a representation of everything beautiful in Islam. You can find so many aspects of Islamic life here, representative in wondrous beauty. You can find the ubiquitous Islamic art and architeture such as calligraphy in all shapes and forms both traditional and modern interpretations, beautiful Mosques from Africa to Asia to America, geometric art in tiles, ceramics, window grilles…pretty much every aspect of Islamic art are being shown here.

The site doesn’t stop at representative, physical beauty – It also shows the charms and fascination in the Islamic and Muslim life; prayers in both written and audio form, famous quotes from the Qur’an, the Traditions of the Prophet and notable Islamic scholars about life , smiling Muslim children, people in prayer, people in meditation, the elderly engrossed in the prayer books…simply the beautiful side of Islamic life.

Some of the pictures on display were taken from Flickr, Instagram and other social photography networks. Most were reblogged and ‘Liked’ by bloggers all around the world.

A visit to this Tumblr is an awesome experience, when all the Islamic art combines it creates a poetic majesty – a befitting representation of the very subject the site exhibit ; Islam.

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Internet Finds – InspirARTion

Someone who is in a group that I am in on Facebook pointed out about this particular website that offers a paint-like program online. It is interesting (and I had been playing it around for days now) because it might be used for Islamic Geometric art.

Interface of InspirARTion website. Please click on the picture to visit the site

The website is some sort of online Photoshop program…albeit a rather compact and simpler one. It is complete with a set of brushes ranging from solid lines to a feathered effect brush, a range of customizable colours both for the brush and background and the brushes are resizable as well, although only three different setting. The options, as I had said, were akin to a compact Photoshop or Paint-type program. But, another option makes this online app interesting.

The Symmetry option in the program adds a whole spectrum of possibilities and even enables one to effortlessly create an Islamic geometric artwork. The Symmetry option allows you to choose between Horizontal, Vertical or Kaleidoscope (two diagonal lines crossing each other) symmetries, or you can choose to combine them. Drawing a line in one point of the canvas will draw another according to your Symmetry options. With these settings in place, you can create amazing symmetrical mandalas in monochromatic scheme or as colourful as your heart desires.

As for creating Islamic-type art with this program, you can create geometric designs very easily, as long as you have steady hands! you can recreate six-pointed stars pattern with the horizontal and vertical symmetry lines and eight pointed stars can be made with the Kaleidoscope option.  The lines won’t be as straight as you might with a set of ruler on a  piece of paper, but it saves you from using a set of compass! But with patience you can create flourishing works of Islamic art effortlessly in a short time .

Check out my work! I am sure that you can do a lot better art than my, so play around!

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