Saturday, April 16, 2011

Ruby, Writing, and Zellije

Lots and lots of rain today.

Lately, I've been teaching myself Ruby and Ruby on Rails. The Ruby part is fun; it's a little like PHP or perl, and the methods make coding easy to read. I'm still trying to keep everything straight in my head where all the Rails scaffolding goes, especially since I've already converted some tab-delimited text files into an SQLite database.

When I'm not trying make Ruby display tables, I've been writing, critiquing and working on a zellije tile design from Gök Medrese in the Tokat Province of Turkey. The part I'm interested in is based on pentagons. Since drafting pentagons is difficult, it's easy to get the geometry wrong, and then the lines making up the stars meet in the wrong places (see my example). Trying to reproduce the pattern has given me new respect for ceramic artisans living in an age before electricity and autoCAD.

What I like most about this design are the arc of stars around the center. I find the weaving of the lines relaxing and I enjoy how I'll see stars, or a decangle, or diamonds depending on when I look.

If I can get something reproducible, Mark is not adverse to having one or two of these on display in the house.
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