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Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher

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How to draw 7 KEYS

Zentangle pattern: 7 Keys. Image © Linda Farmer and TanglePatterns.com. 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.Happy Labor Day Monday, I hope you’ve been enjoying a lovely long weekend.

We sports fans are pleased that the college football season is finally underway and there’s been no shortage of entertainment this weekend, even into this evening. Makes for some fine tangling time too!

Today my CZT7 classmate Teresa Clerc shares her 7 Keys tangle with us. Be sure to check out her fun Boomerangs and M-Anning tangles.

When Teresa came up with 7 Keys she was feeling affected by the deadly wildfires in Greece at the end of July that claimed many lives. This tragedy didn’t receive as much media coverage in the U.S. as California’s devastating wildfires, but both were powerful and deadly.

A classic Greek Key (or fret) pattern, 7 Keys belongs in the same family as the Zentangle®-originals Emingle and Ambler. A dictionary definition of Greek Key is “a pattern of interlocking right-angled spirals”.

In an interesting article on The Washington Post about the Greek Key, decorating expert and author Elizabeth Mayhew writes,

Greek key, also referred to as meander, is in its most basic form a linear pattern. The design is made up of a long, continuous line that repeatedly folds back on itself, mimicking the ancient Maeander River of Asia Minor with its many twists and turns.

… What is most astonishing about the meander motif is that it is found in the architecture, sculpture and decorative arts of many early civilizations — civilizations that could not possibly have known or seen one another’s artifacts. It seems that those cultures, independent of one another, created their own version of the motif.

But it’s the Greeks who used the motif with abandon, hence the reason we most commonly refer to it as the Greek key. The Romans then copied it, and by the 18th century, all of Europe had adapted it into their design vocabulary.

You can learn more about the Greek Key on Wikipedia as well.

As for 7 Keys. It took a bit of practice for me to get the spacing figured out so that everything connects up correctly in Step 4, but otherwise 7 Keys is very easy and makes a striking ribbon-style tangle in your tiles whether left as a simple decorative line or inked in for a more dramatic presence.

Teresa illustrates the step-by-step instructions for drawing 7 Keys below and she features it with several Zentangle-original tangles in her lovely tiles.

How to draw the Zentangle pattern 7 Keys, tangle and deconstruction by Teresa Clerc. 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 TanglePatterns.com reserve all rights to these images and they must not be publicly pinned, altered, reproduced or republished. They are for your personal offline reference only. Thank you for respecting these rights. Click the image for an article explaining what copyright means in plain English. “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” ~ C.S. Lewis

As you enjoy any of the tangles on the site, please leave a comment of thanks and encouragement to show the artists you appreciate them for sharing their creativity to inspire yours. Your comment helps motivate them to continue to share!

Check out the tag teresac for more of Teresa’s tangles on TanglePatterns.com.

Related Links

  • Linda's List of Zentangle-Original Patterns — here is the complete list of original tangles (aka "official tangles") created and introduced by founders Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas, including those not published online. If you are new to the Zentangle Method I highly recommend learning a few of the published Zentangle classics first.
  • A pattern is not always a tangle — here's what makes a tangle.
  • Un motif n’est pas toujours un tangle — Qu’est-ce qu’un tangle ?
  • Un diseño no es siempre un tangle — ¿Qué es un tangle?
  • How to submit your pattern deconstruction to TanglePatterns
  • Zentangle terminology — a glossary of terms used in this art form
  • For lots of great FREE tutorials on TanglePatterns, click on the TUTORIALS link in the pink alphabetic menu bar below the tangle images at the top of any page
  • Looking for tangles by Artist or Type? For details visit the ABOUT > HOW TO FIND TANGLES BY ARTIST OR TYPE page on the top menu bar of any page on the site.
  • Strings! Have we got STRINGS! Click on the STRINGS link in the pink alphabetic menu bar below the tangle images at the top of any page for 250 different (free) Zentangle-starters. More than enough for any lifetime!
  • What is a Zentangle? — if you are new to the Zentangle Method, start here for the fundamentals

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