At first glance, the designing of parquet deformations may look fiendishly difficult, with the impression given of an initial tile (such as a square), being successively deformed from contiguous tiles, resulting in at the end a tile/s of a completely different tile to the starting tile, of which the design process does not seem a simple matter to accomplish. Although as a broadly simplified statement, this is indeed the impression, I do not design this way. Rather, I take a more 'global' approach, of a two-stage process, involving a tempo of 10 (detailed below):

1. What I term as an ‘open grid'¹, in which a geometric motif is typically successively expanded, rotated, or flexed, either inside a repeat cell (e.g. a square) or on the vertices of the grid.

2. To the ‘open grid’ I then simply join the lines in more or less obvious way.

All this is more easily pictured than described, of which I show two instances, of an expanding line (Fig. 1), and a flexed line (Fig. 2) below.

Fig. 1a. Open 

Fig. 1b. Joining Lines

Fig. 2a. Open Grid

Fig. 2b. Joining Lines

The stunning, apparently complex effect belies the sheer simplicity! Indeed, its child-like in its simplicity!

Beats and Tempo

A core important aspect to consider of parquet deformation, borrowing from music terminology, is that of the beats of the bar and tempo, which are separate but related aspects. The beat refers to in effect stages, whilst tempo refers to the predetermined length, or number base. I discuss each in turn below.

I begin with an abstract study of both aspects, to establish the premise, without a parquet deformation. This is then followed by application, with a parquet deformation. For demonstrative purposes, I use the same parquet deformation throughout for the sake of consistency, chosen for its aesthetics and ease of drawing.

(i) Beats to the Bar

By beats to the bar (or stage), I mean the repetitive nature of the unit cell. 1-beat would be 1, 2, 3..., whilst 2-beats would be 1, 1; 2, 2; 3, 3... etc., (Fig. 3). Of course, even more beats to the bar are possible, although in practice serve little purpose beyond bloating the composition.


Fig. 3. Beats to the Bar

(ii) Tempo

By tempo, I mean the length of the composition. The tempo can be of any length, although in practice it is generally favoured around a tempo of 10, for reasons as I detail in ‘Observations’ below. Fig. 4 shows a tempo of 10 for both 1-beat (top) and 2-beats (bottom).

Fig. 4. Tempo

 ¹ I must admit, I don’t fully favour the description, but it's difficult to think of something more suitable. The term ‘open grid’ seems a contradiction in terms; a grid is by its very nature is closed, not open! Suggestions for a better description are invited!

To be continued.

Page created 5 April 2021