Friday, June 15, 2012

Cosmati Patterns for a Church Floor designed by students from Thomas More College of Liberal Arts

For the final part of the spring semester, the students were assigned a project in which they were asked to design a church floor using traditional forms. I gave them two options. the first was that they design a sanctuary floor, which must include the quincunx - four circles spinning out of a central circle. This is a geometric representation of the four Evangelists taking the Word of God, represented by the central circle, out to the four corners of the world through their gospels. Second, they could design the floor of a nave, the main body of the church, and this must employ a shape called the guilloche, which is a chain of interconnecting circles.

In each case they had to follow the general design principle of ordering the space into regular orthogonal shapes and then filling in each compartment with a repeated geometric pattern. In the nave designs you can see that each has been sub-divided into a series of rectangles. I gave a selection of tradition Romanesque geometric patterns for them to choose from.

When I showed the designs from the class last year, it created quite a flurry of positive comments from readers. In fact I was approached by someone who wanted to contact one of the students so that he could discuss commissioning some original work (designs for a website). As with last year this is a freshman class and none had done any geometric design work like this before the beginning of the semester. One of them has shown an interest in developing this further throughout her time at the college

The students whose work you see are, from top: Nicole Martin, Augustine Kamprath, Erin Monfils, Aleth Sargent, Teresa Webster and Cecilia Black.

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