As for pictures, if I'm not using my own work, I seek photos under free public licenses. In today's post, however, I use one photo without permission (because I have no idea how to get permission). But then I mangle it beyond recognition in the pursuit of design, so I'm not sure where copyright law falls on that one! Nevertheless, I still do my best to credit the originator and link back.
I search Wikimedia Commons for "cracked ice" and find a variety of examples of Chinese art. Some of the photos of Chinese windows also have Chinese characters in their names (冰裂窗 and 冰裂紋窗), which I take to Google Translate to see if they might be the search terms I need:
Huzzah! I think they are! So I google them, make it an image search, and click on the first image that looks like a diagram. The links below are for the original Chinese pages. I run them through Google Translate, but you can try your own translation methods, if you like.
Postscript: The three ice-cracked windows in Guanjialou are all exactly the same, probably because it was too difficult to make, so the craftsman only made one, and copied the other two
This leads me to a video called "The problem of summing the exterior angles of polygons and pentagons". Because it's a video, I can't run an automated translation, so I just watch it and see if I can make anything of it. This screenshot is particularly interesting, because I recognize the look of a math problem (even as I break out in hives at it). Maybe it's asking what the sum of all those angles is? The voice-over explains that the answer is C, 360 degrees, but how he knows that, I don't know!
What are the patterns of ice cracked windows?
The ice crack open window pattern was realized in the early days by drawing with a ruler and compasses. Its structural law is a square continuous pattern of basic geometric figures (triangle, rhombus, square or polygon), and at the same time, short straight lines and flower and grass decorations are added. Specific patterns need to be analyzed in detail, but this rule cannot be escaped.
I don't know what "a square contiguous pattern of basic geometric figures" means (it might make perfect sense in Chinese, but I am looking at a computer translation). But, thanks to the mention of compasses, I am ready to theorize.
To both demonstrate and test this theory, I use a photo of the famous window from the Lin family garden (林家花園) as my reference, and draw on it. My apologies to olina155, the user who uploaded the photo: I don't know what the licensing is, and I am using it without permission. However, as my use of it is so transformative that you can't see much of the original, and I'm making no money and losing a lot of time in this endeavor, hopefully no-one is offended!
TRACING THE PATTERN THROUGH TIME?
I won't be doing that study, though. I don't feel like opening that many tabs in my browser, all in a language I can't read! For now, I am happy with my theory; perhaps I'll even use it in a quilt someday!
Quilting, dressmaking, and history plied with the needle...
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