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Collaboration with Professor Craig S. Kaplan: Islamic Parquet Deformation


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Islamic parquet deformation

We at Azmas Rugs are excited with our collaboration with Professor Craig S. Kaplan who is a computer scientist from the University of Waterloo in Toronto, Canada. We see this design as a product from a marriage of between an ancient craft tradition and computer generated geometry. Islamic decoration makes use of geometric patterns which have developed over the centuries. The complexity and variety of patterns used evolved from simple stars and lozenges in the ninth century, through a variety of 6- to 13-point patterns by the 13th century, and finally to include also 14- and 16-point stars in the sixteenth century. Several artforms in different parts of the Islamic world make use of geometric patterns. These include ceramics, kilims, metalwork, architectural vaulting, shakaba stained glass,woodwork, and zellige tiling Parquet deformations are an abstract form of ornament first introduced by William Huff as an exercise for his Architecture students, and later popularized by Douglas Hofstadter in his Scientific American column. They are a kind of "spatial animation": a tiling of the plane from shapes that gradually evolve in space. They are the aesthetic cousins of MC Escher's Metamorphosis prints. In the IPD pattern the 10 point star undergoes parquet deformation in a pleasing almost imperceptible manner. Initially we expected to take 20 days to complete the patterns however upon commencing the weaver requested that an enlarged image of the design to be produced to give to the weaver a better guidance in weaving the pattern. The runner took a lot longer to weave and progressed at 2 inches (5 centimeters) a day until it was finished.

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