Monday, January 17, 2011

A simple mandala template

We've recently moved, closed our storage unit after three years, and have been unpacking boxes. One item I discovered was this apple corer/slicer.

I don't recall ever using it for that purpose (amazing how Stuff accumulates, isn't it?), but it struck me as a quick and easy stencil for a mandala.  

I planned to fill it with zentangle patterns. It's a bit too big for a nine centimeter 'tile' so I used slightly larger paper (13 cm/5 inch). I penciled the eight sections. The corer isn't level and slips around a bit, so the divisions are uneven, but that's part of the charm of Zentangle isn't it?

I used a lid to add another circle inside the outer one. You'll see the zigzag border on the first finished piece.

Below is the first one I tried. You can see where I added the other circle with a lid. I left the center empty and I find it rather striking, probably because it flows into the empty areas in the next ring out.

pen & ink and colored pencil; 2011 ©Margaret Bremner
Chartz, Rain, aura, tiny circles...

Here's my second go at it. Again, I added another circle by tracing around a lid. This time I filled the center with Tipple.

pen & ink and colored pencil; 2011 ©Margaret Bremner
Coaster, Fescu?, Rain, Tipple, tiny circles

Then I got really enthusiastic and decided to add color, a border and a true string to the mix. I didn't add the extra circle, and it ended up being much less a mandala. I think it looks like a small glowing thing so I call it "Ember".

EMBER, 6x6 inches
pen & ink and colored pencil; 2011 ©Margaret Bremner
Betweed, Coaster, Crescent Moon, Cubine, Facets, Hibred, Jitterbug, Lotus Pods, Msst, Munchin, 
N'Zeppel, Paradox, Printemps, Shattuck, Striping, Tipple, Wud, Xyp, Zander, tiny circles (sheesh!)

Is there an apple corer in your kitchen that should be with your art supplies?

(This post is, at least in part, for Laura Harms, CZT who's had a crazy week and has been wanting to draw circles a lot. Circles are an ancient protective symbol.) 

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  1. Wow! What else can you say? Wow! What a clever idea to use you apple corer as a pattern, hmmmm there are probably other house hold items that need to find their way into the studio.
    I love all your circles, each has their own special appeal. What's really cool about "ember" is the way the tangle changes color and continues out of the circle. OMG it just noticed that all that detail is inside a 6 inch square! Amazing.

  2. ::beams::

    beautiful... now i want to play...

  3. What a superb idea. Your mandalas are beautiful. Thank you so much for adding that little tidbit about circles being an ancient protective symbol. I rend to use a lot of circles myself and couldn't remember why I found them so peaceful.

  4. What a wonderfully creative idea!
    ...and the tangles turned out gorgeous!

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    Hugs & Blessings,
    Courage is the power to let go of the familiar. --Raymond Lindquist

  5. Margaret, I love your creative style! And what a great idea for a mandala string. An apple corer!!

    I struggle with mandala designs... as my results are usually so stiff and boring, even though I use our beautiful tangles. Enjoy reading your words and love your creative art work. Keep it coming... it's a wonderful incentive to counteract 'stiff and boring'!

  6. Gorgeous work (although I never expect to see less from you). This is what I love about artists...they always see beyond the "typical uses" for things. I guess I'll need to pick up an apple corer the next time I see one at the thrift store because I don't have one in my studio (or kitchen).

    Thanks for always being such an inspiration.

  7. Magnificent! Love all three, but Ember is so beautiful! I have one of these in my kitchen and use it every week, but never saw a mandala. Hmmm, need to start taking more time to look at the simple things! Thanks, Margaret!

  8. These pieces are so lovely! Who would think that the humble apple would inspire such a useful tool which in turn can be used to produce such fruitful works!?

  9. Wow! If unpacking boxes can inspire art this good...I better get me some to do!

  10. I will be pulling out my apple slicer for sure!

  11. On the hunt for possible pattern/template makers..... how very clever to re-purpose a kitchen tool in this way ;-0

  12. Such beautiful designs, very fluid and so inspiring.

  13. I am realy impressed to see all de beautifull drawings.
    I have discovered again de joy of drawing. As a young person I was always drawing en started sinds a short time again seeing zentangles fun!

  14. Joke, I'm so happy to hear that you're drawing again! Have fun!
    There is a Certified Zentangle Teacher in the Netherlands, and another in Belgium.

  15. I've never one of those before, bit what an amazing template!! I have some biscuit cutters that look interesting.... I love Ember, all those colors, wow!

  16. Great idea!! It will probably get more use now! :))) String and Tangle On!!!

  17. Love you blog!
    LOVE this Zentangle mandala!