You are welcome to join the Art of Islamic Pattern (Open) group! This is place where students past and present, as well as anyone with a passion of Islamic pattern, can share their work.

Art of Islamic Pattern (Open) Facebook group

You can follow our classes and trips on Instagram

This website is another valuable resource offering an archive of images of patterns and other design features drawn from the rich cultural heritage of the Islamic world.

The Wade Photo Archive


Recommended Text/Visual Resources

Islamic Pattern

Profound Patterns  (Adam Williamson – Author)

This beautiful book showcases artwork produced by people across the globe from their bedrooms and kitchens as part of online art classes during lockdown in 2020, during 65 unique classes, with over 20,000 registrations.

Arts and Crafts of the Islamic Lands: Principles Materials Practice Various Authors (including Adam Williamson – Art of Islamic Pattern Tutor)
Provides authoritative access to a range of techniques, methods, materials and skills.

Islamic Patterns Keith Critchlow Thames and Hudson
– Seminal text, lots on the symbolism of geometric forms, excellent design source.

Islamic Design: A Genius for Geometry Daud Sutton Wooden Books
– Small, but incredibly dense visual study with very clear and illuminating drawings.  By far the best thing to have been published in recent years (less than £5 on Amazon).

Geometric Concepts in Islamic Art Issam El-Said and Ayse Parman World of Islam Festival
– Excellent design source showing patterns in architectural context with superb commentary. (Beware of some errors in the analyses of patterns).

Zillij: Art of Moroccan Ceramics Damlugi (ed) Garnet Publishing
– Excellent photographic study with very good chapter on pattern analysis.

Arabic Geometrical Pattern and Designs J. Bourgoin Dover
– Comprehensive design source with very useful under-drawings.

The Sense of Unity Nadar Ardalan & Laleh Bakhtiar Center for Middle Eastern Studies
– Good on symbolism of geometry and architecture.


Motflier Motifs in Turkish Decorative Art Birol, Inci A & Cicek Derman 1991 (KUBBEALTI NEŞRİYAT)
– Authoritative explanation of the various Turkish (& Iranian) floral motifs and styles, includes drawings and English translation, dose not include compositional layout examples.

Iranian Garden, Golden Twist, Design and Patterns by M.R Honarvar ISBN 964-306-336-4
– Good for resource for compositional layouts and repeat patterns (not in English)

Splendours of Qur’an Calligraphy and Illumination Lings, Martin and 2005 (World of Islam Festival)
– Beautiful photographs of frontispieces from some of the best illuminated manuscripts in the world.

Artistic and Cultural Background

Art of Islam Titus Burckhardt World of Islam Festival Publishing
– Superb selection of images with insightful commentary, good on symbolism.

Islamic Art and Spirituality Seyyed Hossein Nasr Golgonooza
– Lucid, accessible, by highly respected scholar (teacher of Critchlow and Bakhtiar).

Sacred Art in East and WestTitus Burckhardt (Sophia Perennis et Universalis)1986
– Condensed introductory chapter to Islamic art.

Sufi Laleh Bakhtiar Thames and Hudson
– Beautifully illustrated, very good on the mystical symbolism of Islamic art.

Symbol and Archetype Martin Lings Quinta Essentia
– Demanding, but highly authoritative and beautifully written. Symbolism in traditional art, Islam compared to other traditions, good chapter on colour.

Mirrors of the Unseen Journeys in Iran Jason Elliot Picador
– Recent travelogue, highly readable with very sensitive reflections on Islamic art and Iranian culture in particular.

Sacred Geometry

Sacred Geometry Robert Lawlor Thames and Hudson
– Best trans-cultural introduction to the subject, well written with good illustrations and workbook exercises.

Sacred Geometry Miranda Lundy Wooden Books
– short but excellent primer with very clear drawings.

A Beginner’s Guide to Constructing the Universe Michael S. Schneider
– Mathematical Archetypes of Nature, Art, and Science.


The Materials and Techniques of Medieval Painting Daniel V. Thompson (Dover Publications)1956
– Good reference for pigment preparation.

Gold Leaf Techniques  Kent H. Smith  (Media Group International)1998
– The best practical guide book to gilding available.

Signwork: A Craftsman’s Manual by Bill Stewart


Course tools and materials


Steadtler Master Bow Compass 

Centro 8 piece Compass Set




Falkiner Fine Papers