Reticula and Fragments

Reticula and Fragments

Reticula and Fragments were introduced by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas (founders of Zentangle) in their book Zentangle Primer Volume 1. Reticula are simply frameworks in which to place pattern fragments. Fragments are little chunks of patterns that when rotated or mirrored and placed together in a reticulum (framework) create a larger pattern. Think ceramic tiles. Each tile is a unit and when put together, the elements of each tile work together to create a larger pattern. Depending on the tile’s pattern and how the tiles are put together a number of different variations are possible.

Recently, as I was looking at the photos on my phone I came across several photos of a tile rotated in different positions.

This is the tile

I saw that the tile itself could be considered a fragment of a larger design and immediately went to my computer and started rotating and flipping and combining. The results were very interesting and I wanted to share them here.

Of course then I wanted to experiment with other tiles. Here are a few of the designs I came up with. Note: none of the tiles were drawn with the idea that they would be rotated, mirrored and combined, so it was interesting to see how things lined up.

Hope you enjoy the results of my experimenting, I know I did. Reticula and Fragments are really quite fun. You should try them yourself although maybe on a smaller, simpler scale to start with.

It also made me realize that we are all just part of a larger pattern.



16 Responses to Reticula and Fragments

  1. This is so kaleidoscopic!
    But I’m confused! Are these done on the computer or are they not? If yes then my dear Lynn, you have lots more explaining and teaching to do! You’re just amazing! Am always excited to open your mail and see what wonders you’ve come up With! Thank you thank you!

    • Rohini sorry for the confusion. The original tiles are hand drawn. Then I then brought the photos I took of the hand drawn tiles into photoshop and cropped out anything that wasn’t tile. These images I then brought into InDesign. I copied and pasted the image so I had at least 4 copies (sometimes more) then I played with rotating and mirroring and putting them together in different ways. This can be done with almost any computer graphics program. What Maria and Rick present in their book is the basic concept of taking a fragment of pattern and drawing it in a framework to achieve similar effects on a simpler level. I just took it one step further and treated the whole tile as a fragment and it was the quickest way to satisfy my mind to do the rotating and mirroring on the computer.

      • Thank you so much! Will have to try it before I can ask you nay more questions!
        You bring so much innovation and excitement into tangling!

  2. Lynn, what a wonderful post! I am just beginning to work my way through the Primer, slow and steady. Your beautiful examples have made me look forward to getting to the fragments and reticula section! The tiles you chose to play with are gorgeous alone, but when combined and rotated … what magic they create! Thanks for sharing your experience. 🙂

    ~ Jan Brandt, CZT XII, Reno, NV

  3. Lynn ~ This is way beyond cool! These turned out beautifully. Makes me want to go try it.
    Thanks for the inspiration. Roseanne, CZT 17

  4. I’m betting Linda means she doesn’t know how to do the manipulations on the computer?? At least that’s what I would mean had I written that😊 In Wendy’s world the drawing is the easy part!

  5. How interesting! I had considered “reticula and fragments” as commercial creep of the Zentangle enterprise, but your rendition of it here is totally engaging and so expansive. Thank you for sharing.

  6. WOW! What a cool experiment, Lynn. I don’t know how to manipulate the patterns in that way but it sure looks like fun. Thanks for sharing:)

    • Linda, the idea is that you would draw fragments in a simple grid on a regular 3.5 inch Zentangle size tile and play with rotating and mirroring on a much smaller scale. If you haven’t seen Rick and Maria’s book, Zentangle Primer Vol.1, I highly recommend it. It goes into much greater detail. It is available on the Zentangle web site: