Posted by: doras_explorations | October 11, 2009

Zentangles, the Polymer Clay Version

  I’ve become a hopeless Zentangle addict!  What IS a Zentangle?   The Zentangle is an art form
created by Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts, who describe it as : “An easy to learn method of creating beautiful images from repetitive patterns. It is a fascinating new art form that is fun and relaxing. It increases focus and creativity. Zentangle provides artistic satisfaction and an increased sense of personal well being. Zentangle is enjoyed by a wide range of skills
and ages and is used in many fields of interest.” 
 If that description seems unclear, here’s a Zentangle from the official Zentangle website:


  Now that you can see one, the definition makes a lot more sense, doesn’t it?  Yes, it does look like
a form of doodling.  However, it is the repetitiveness and complexity of the Zentangle which distinguishes it from those doodles we make in the margins of our notebooks or the back of envelopes when listening to a  lecture or yakking on the phone.  I have made several zentangles and posted them on Flickr.     
If you have followed my blog, you’ve noticed that I get ideas for cane designs from various sources; for example, laundromat floor tiles and geometric proofs.   I also designed a cane by rather haphazardly drawing basic shapes with a black Sharpie.  I suppose that may be considered ‘doodling’.   So it seemed natural for me to develop a polymer clay cane based on a zentangle design.  I thought about constructing a complete zentangle cane, but have decided that this wouldn’t work too well.  That’s because the intricate patterns within the zentangle would be difficult to see once the cane was reduced, unless I started out with a really HUGE cane and reduced it to a size no smaller than about 3″ /7.6cm square.  And I don’t work on such a grand scale !   Instead, what I’ve decided to do is make a series of canes (for example a striped cane, jellyroll cane, etc), make a patterned sheet with each cane, then cut and assemble the patterned sheets like a puzzle to make the zentangle.  The size of the finished zentangle will be approximately 4″x4″/10cmx10cm square, including the background. This would be too large to use as a pin or pendant, but would be a good size for a tile or box top.
 In my next post, I will show how I make the patterned sheets and assemble them into a Zentangle.  I will be using black and white clay exclusively in keeping with the customary zentangle style.   Now I need to clear off a space on my clay table, set up my camera, and get going ! 
I’ll be back in a few days…………


  1. Wow..that sounds real ambitious to me. I can’t
    wait to see what you come up with. It would be
    really beautiful, though, I am sure.

  2. Your designs would make great texture sheets! Just an idea.

    • That’s a great idea, Carolyn !

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