Thread Mania

My journey studying for the City & Guilds Level 3 Certificate in Embroidery

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Posts Tagged ‘regular star polygrams’

Line Drawings from research images

The final task for module 1 chapter 1 is to make some line drawings from the images collected during my research.

The most common star graphic is the 5-pointed regular star. It is very easy to draw and makes a chubby little star beloved by advertising and religious/mystical folk.

Sketches from ancient star images

1.3.1 pentangles and ancient stars (click to see full page)

The 8-pointed star made from four crossed lines lends itself to all sorts of embellishments and elaboration. The four upright points can be joined to form a enclosed star graphic while the diagonal lines develop into ornamental “rays”

Of course we don’t have to stop at just four intersecting lines, there are many examples of star graphics formed from eight, ten or even twenty intersecting lines.

Stars can be made from intersecting shapes, the most common being 2-intersecting triangles forming the hexagram (aka Star of David, Seal of Soloman or Shatkona). There is also the quarter-group made from intersecting squares and the Star of Auseklis from intersecting pointed shapes. In modern times this star graphic is much used by quilters but it is an ancient European symbol of magic.

Star sketches

1.3.2 Stars from Intersecting Shapes (click to see full page)

Star shape from driftwood

1.3.3 Driftwood and beach pebbles star shape

The intersecting shapes do not all have to be of the same size, an interesting “star” can be made from intersecting rectangles or from sticks and stones at the beach.

My beach play made a shape about 40cm across, as can be estimated from the camera lens cap, lower left.

The Star of Auseklis (above) is also interesting as, like the pentagram, the elven star and the Star of Babylon, it is drawn using a continuous line. Both the elven star and the Star of Babylon are 7-pointed stars based on seven equi-distant points on a circle (septagram). The lines forming the Star of Babylon join every second point, while those forming the elven star join every third point.

There is a whole branch of geometry investigating the star forms made by intersecting lines joining equi-distant points on a circle.

four versions of regular 11-point star

1.3.4 Four versions of 11-pointed stars (click to see full page)

7-Points and 8-points provide two different forms, 9-points (the enneagram) gives us three different forms and 11-points (the hendecagram) has four forms.  Not only mathematicians are intrigued by the stars formed by continuous lines and over the past millennia many religious/mystical groups have taken various regular star forms as their logo or assigned mystical meanings to them.

Drawing the regular stars can be quite additive, especially while experimenting to see which versions are made from continuous lines. Two of the enneagrams and all four hendecagrams are continuous lines. See the full page for all my variations.

Moving away from simple star forms allows for an almost infinite variety of ornamentation and elaboration but having repeating elements allows us to still recognise these shapes as “stars”. The pentagram has many different anthromorphic religious/mystical forms as well for advertising logos.

I was intrigued to see the pentangle as a possible source of the Star Trek logo. The traditional compass rose is based on a regular 8-pointed star.  If the enneagon consisting of three overlapping triangles is made from three intersecting solid triangles we can get interesting knot-like effect. Very few star shapes have just three or four points, but the ninja throwing stars (beloved in martial arts movies) are an exception.

compass rose and enneagram

1.3.5 Elaborations of simple sketches (click to see full page)