I apologise for the wordiness of this post – so unlike me!
I thoroughly enjoyed my day at Lesley Roberts‘ Zentangle workshop yesterday where I was one of four ladies who had signed up for this introductory course. The cost included the paper tiles, pen, and pencil that we would need for tangling during the day as well as several handout sheets of additional patterns with step by step illustrations (known as step-outs in the tangling community). Lesley demonstrated three patterns during the morning session and after each demonstration we had a go ourselves. We compared tiles when they were completely finished and it was interesting to see how we had interpreted the patterns quite differently to each other. In the afternoon we were given free reign to tangle whatever we fancied on another tile or two. There wasn’t much conversation while we were actually tangling but there was plenty of opportunity throughout the day to ask questions and for Lesley to guide us as well as for general chat.
Using a pen as fine as the one recommended (a Micron 01) made me go much more slowly than I had when I had tried tangling before the course and I found that I was making each stroke much more deliberately too. The narrow point also enables extremely fine detail to be tangled. I bought a pack of tiles and another pen from Lesley yesterday because I really like Pigma Micron pens anyway and although I’ll continue to tangle I don’t intend to buy any more tangling stuff for the time being. All the official Zentangle stuff has to be ordered from the USA in any case and p&p costs to the UK makes that a slightly prohibitive option but there are plenty of suggestions on the ‘net for alternative papers to use and last week I used a block of standard notelet squares which were ok for practising on. The couple of pieces I did last week that weren’t purely practice pieces I would now describe as tangle-inspired rather than true tangling but I’m ok with that – one of the reasons for doing this workshop was to find out if it might give me more focus for free-motion machine embroidery ideas and I think it will.
If you’ve ever considered taking up tangling but haven’t yet taken the plunge, I would certainly encourage you to do so and if possible attend a workshop. (The Zentangle website lists all the certified tutors with links to their contact details.) Saying that you ‘can’t draw’ is no excuse. As Lesley pointed out at the beginning of the class, if you can make a dot on paper, draw a line, an orb, and an s shape, you can also tangle. Anyone reading this post can probably write too and those four marks/symbols are used in handwriting so go tangle!
The first two images below are of the tiles I did yesterday and the third is of one I did this morning.