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Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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How to draw SPURTLE

Zentangle pattern: Spurtle. Image © Linda Farmer and ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. You may use this image for your personal non-commercial reference only. The unauthorized pinning, reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal.Canadian tangler Rosemary Turpin is back today with her grid-based Spurtle tangle.

Spurtle is Rosemary’s fifth tangle on the site, be sure to check out the others!

She writes that her inspiration for her tangle name came from a book,

the historical fiction novel called Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier which is a story about what life was like in the northern states as the Civil War ended.

It was a pretty grim story, though, so I`m glad it produced some good tangle names!

According to Wikipedia,

The spurtle is a wooden Scottish kitchen tool, dating from the fifteenth century, that is used to stir porridge, soups, stews and broths.

The rod-like shape means that porridge can be stirred without congealing and forming lumps, unlike a spoon that would have a dragging effect during stirring, and the low surface area reduces the chances of porridge sticking to the instrument.

Spurtles are made from wood, including beech (in the UK), cherry wood (in the US) and maple (in Canada). They come in a range of sizes. Traditional spurtles have thistles at the top, while modern ones often have a smooth taper.The custom is that a spurtle should be used to stir in a clockwise direction with the right hand.

The World Porridge Making Championship awards a “Golden Spurtle” as its main prize.

The Golden Spurtle – photo by Simon Rookyard – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

An easy grid-style tangle, Spurtle does require your attention when alternating the areas to be filled in.

Rosemary illustrates the step-by-step instructions for drawing Spurtle below and she features it in two ZIAs with second example demonstrating a variation of the original.

How to draw the Zentangle pattern Spurtle, tangle and deconstruction by Rosemary Turpin. Image copyright the artist and used with permission, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Image copyright the artist and used with permission, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Please feel free to refer to the steps images to recreate this tangle in your personal Zentangles and ZIAs, or to link back to this page. However the artist and reserve all rights to these images and they must not be publicly pinned, altered, reproduced or republished. They are for your personal reference only. Thank you for respecting these rights. For more information, click on the image for the article “Copyrights and your blog.”

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Check out the tag rosemaryt for more of Rosemary’s tangles on


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11 comments to How to draw SPURTLE

  • Thanks for a fun tangle and a reminder of a special trip last year to Scotland where I learned about the Spurtle.

  • Len de Graaf

    Spurtle is a beautiful tangle! Thanks for sharing!!

  • David

    Spurtle is a great name and a great tangle. Thanks for sharing Rosemary 🙂

  • Mary Helmers

    Bob’s Red Mill Quick Cooking Steel Cut Oats won the Golden Spurtle Award in Carrbridge, Scotland, in 2009 AND 2016!

  • Bunny Wright

    My heritage is Scottish and Irish. I was gifted with a spurtle and I often use it when I make porridge! This is a fun pattern. I can see lots of variations with it. Thanks, Rosemary. I actually heard the final results of the ‘World final Porridge’ championships and I believe the winners were from Sweden.

  • Thanks for this grid tangle, Rosemary. I tried it this morning and found it to be one of those tangles that you can let your mind wander while you’re drawing it. It’s full of possibilities, too, which makes it fun. And I love saying “spurtle!”

  • Beth

    Bravo, Rosemary! It is lovely. Hoping to see you soon on a Monday, with your book! Have missed you!

  • Mary Helmers

    The winners of the Golden Spurtle Award for 2017 were, indeed, from Sweden. The contest is held this year on March 31, so we will all await with baited breath the outcome! And, of course, keep tangling “Sprutle”.

  • Nancy Pearson

    Rosemary you are quite the tangler! I looked at your other tangle patterns on the website and I love them all. I am naming this day “Rosemary Day” and focusing on your tangles. Very nice. Thank you!

    And, thank you, Linda, for all you do. I am on your website a couple of time a day and remain completely amazed at all of the work it must take to keep this website up and running in such a current and timely fashion. I cannot tell you how tanglepatterns has changed my life. I have a little desk devoted to tangling with all my supplies organized and a ton of practice paper before I use a precious tile! I am not that good compared to what I see online and I could not come up with a design or pattern of my own but I take joy in the talent of others and their willingness to share with people like me. I draw my tiles and when I am done I hold them up in front of me and I feel good.

    I have no drawing skills whatsoever I even had my art teacher in 7th grade make fun of me in front of the class for drawing something stupid. It was kind of stupid –but in Zentangle nothing is stupid. I would love to send that teacher one of my completed tiles and ask him if it was stupid now!! (Like the country song goes “. . . What do ya think of me now?. . . ” hehehe Thanks Linda! Nancy

  • Rosemary Turpin

    My goodness, I am overwhelmed by all of your very kind remarks – I have never had so many – you are all inspiring me to try and come up with some more — though of course, I want to see everybody else`s beautiful patterns too! Thank you so much everybody!

  • Rosemary Turpin

    Nancy, I do think your art teacher was heartless and cruel with his/her remarks. I`m thinking that must have been a few years ago, because most wouldn`t do that now – they now realize how much they can crush a small ego with remarks like that! I`m so glad you are doing Zentangle now and could more than likely “wow” that teacher terrifically with what you do now!

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