The summer school is a 1, 2 or 3 week intensive programme. It is open to students who are new to Islamic Patterns, as well as those with some previous experience. Week 1 is an intensive version of our weekly introductory course and assumes no previous knowledge of Islamic Patterns. On Week 2 the teaching is also at an introductory level, but has different content to our other introductory courses, so it can be taken as a ‘refresher’ course, or as a stand-alone course in its own right. Week 3 of the Summer School will comprise an advanced course focusing on a particular region. This year the course for Week 3 will be one of our most popular follow-courses Persian Patterns.

Over the three weeks we will cover all aspects of Islamic pattern making, including geometric drawing, biomorphic design/Arabesque and each week will culminate a traditional craft element.

NOTE: Students may choose to attend 1,2 or all 3 weeks of the programme. Participants who choose to enrol for 2 weeks are entitled to a £80 discount. Those who enrol for all 3 weeks receive a £160 discount.

Summer School – Week 1

Monday – Friday 10:30am – 4.30pm, 3rd
-7th August 2020

4 copy

This introductory module will introduce 6-fold and 12-fold geometric patterns from across the Islamic world, together with elementary biomorphic patterns, with a focus upon the Rumi motif. There will be two brief contextual slide lectures. The module culminates with a practical element, in which students create work in a traditional medium. In Week 1 students will have the opportunity to explore painting and gilding with real gold leaf.

(Week 1 can be taken as a stand-alone module, or together with Week 2&3)

Summer School – Week 2  –
Monday – Friday 10:30am – 4.30pm, 10th – 14th August 2020


This module will cover 4 and 8-fold geometric patterns from across the Islamic world, together with elementary biomorphic patterns, with a focus upon the complex Rumi patterns and introducing the Hatayi style. The module culminates with a practical craft element. The craft focus in Week 2 will be 3-dimensional carving. Students will have the opportunity to produce in plaster, using traditional tools and methods.

(Week 2 can be taken as a stand-alone module, or together with Week 1&3)

Summer School – Week 3 – Persian Patterns

Monday – Friday 10:30am – 4.30pm, 17th – 21st August 2020

Xiaoxiao Ma
‘Kerman Floral’
Shell gold and gouache on paper

This is an opportunity for students to develop more advanced skills in constructing geometric and arabesque/islimi.

The focus of the course will be upon patterns from medieval Iran/Persia, where Islamic art reached an extraordinary peak of perfection. We will look in particular at the stunning 10-fold rosette patterns, the use of the Golden Section in constructing these patterns and explore links between more recently discovered ‘Penrose’ tilings and medieval Persian ‘girih’ (knot) patterns. Students will learn to integrate these complex geometric designs with the family of Persian biomorphic motifs and explore more advanced compositions. A number of new patterns will be introduced, so former students are invited to return for this refreshed presentation.

(Week 3 can be taken as a stand-alone module for those who have already completed an introductory course, or have an equivalent level of experience)


8 weekly

Course Details

Summer School:3rd - 21st August 2020
5, 10 or 15 day intensive course:Mon -Fri, 10.30am – 4.30pm
Location:Bow Arts Trust, 183 Bow Rd, London E3 2SJ
Public transport:Bow Road Underground (District + Hammersmith & City line) is a 6 minute walk from the studio, Bow Church (DLR) is 3 min walk.
Course fee for 1 week:£320 (including materials)
£160 Deposit:
Course fee for 2 weeks combined: £560 (including materials)
£280 Deposit:
Course fee for 3 weeks combined:£800 (including materials)
£400 Deposit:
Terms & Conditions:If enrolling for the full 3 week programme, we require a 50% deposit of £400 to reserve a place. The balance of £400 is payable on the first day of the course. If enrolling for just one week, we require a deposit of £160. Two weeks will be a £280 deposit. Deposit is non-refundable, but can be transferred to another course, or replaced with a ‘course voucher’ if 6 weeks notice of cancellation given.
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