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Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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Artists for Respect
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How to draw FLOSSIL

Zentangle pattern: Flossil. 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.Well, this was the week (month/year) that was … Welcome to Friday, we made it!

My eyeballs are scarlet from so many continuous hours of televised election coverage. I’ve never watched this much TV in my life! The suspense continues …

Today’s Flossil tangle, floral fossil, is from California CZT Jodi Christiansen and it’s her second tangle on the site.

Jodi explains the source of her inspiration,

A friend sent this photo awhile ago of agate fossil coral she found online and asked if I thought it could be made into a tangle pattern. I said I would do my best because it is stunning. The fossil looks like it has been split and polished to reveal the pattern within. 

I was intrigued by the way the “flowers” interconnected so I spent hours studying the photo to figure out how to deconstruct it. I finally noticed I could connect the centers of the flowers together in a wonky grid; this unlocked the mystery for me.

Another CZT suggested the pattern looks something like Walk The Line and I see what she means. In my mind, though, the focus is different because the most striking part of this tangle is the way the petal tips align nearly perfectly throughout the entire group of flowers – and that’s what I spent most of my time trying to replicate!

For intrepid tanglers, it could be fun to add the jagged petal edges as they appear in the photo. I love how the “flowers” play together by nestling into the nooks and crannies created by one another. Nature is so clever and it made me curious how such a thing was formed in the first place; I just had Google give me a refresher on the creation of fossils, amazing.

The {rather addictive} Fire Mountain Gems and Beads website provides this information about fossil coral:

Fossil coral is a natural gemstone that is created when prehistoric coral is gradually replaced with agate. Corals are marine animals and it is their skeletons that are fossilized and preserved. The fossil coral forms through hardened deposits left by silica-rich waters. The entire process can take over 20 million years.

The proper name for fossil coral is “agatized coral” or “agatized fossil coral.” Agate, with its silicon dioxide composition (SiO2), is a variety of naturally occurring chalcedony–or microcrystalline quartz–rather than a type of coral.

For this reason, fossil coral should not be mistaken for endangered or protected reef coral or precious coral. Fossil coral is also much harder than precious coral. Most agatized fossil coral exhibits a dull to waxy luster and interesting skeletal-like ancient coral patterns, most often appearing in flower shapes.

Jodi illustrates the step-by-step instructions for drawing Flossil below. Her illustration includes tips for tangling Flossil and a lovely Zentangle tile featuring it.

How to draw the Zentangle pattern Flossil, tangle and deconstruction by Jodi Christiansen. Image copyright the artist and used with permission, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Image copyright the artist and used with permission, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. These images are for your personal offline reference only. Please feel free to refer to the images to recreate this tangle in your personal Zentangles and ZIAs. However the artist and reserve all rights to the images and they must not be publicly pinned, altered, reproduced or republished. Thank you for respecting these rights. For more information, click on the image for a discussion entitled “Artists for Respect” by several prominent artists. “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 thanks helps motivate them to continue to share! And please share a link to your favorite tangles on social media. Thanks!

Check out the tag jodic for more of Jodi’s tangles on

Related Links

  1. 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.
  2. What is a Zentangle? — if you are new to the Zentangle Method, start here for the fundamentals.
  3. Zentangle terminology — a glossary of terms used in this art form.
  4. How to use the site — an excellent free video tutorial showing how to use the site as well as pointing out lots of useful features you might have missed.
  5. 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.
  6. "A Zentangle has no up or down and is not a picture of something, so you have no worries about whether you can draw a hand, or a duck. You always succeed in creating a Zentangle." Thus patterns that are drawings of a recognizable naturalistic or actual object, figure, or scene, are not tangles. A pattern is not always a tangle — here's what makes a tangle. TIP: tangles never start with pencil planning.
  7. How to submit your pattern deconstruction to TanglePatterns
  8. 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.
  9. 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!
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6 comments to How to draw FLOSSIL

  • CLosely related to Ginili, but quite a different way to start. I look forward to trying this one!

  • Dessie Arnold

    Wow, that photo of the fossilized coral is BEAUTIFUL! I love the tangle, too, and so interesting the way that Jodi deconstructed it. Thank you Linda for providing the website and your careful curating of the tangles in it, and Jodi for taking the time to deconstruct this beautiful design and to share the stepout and photo with us!

  • Wonton

    I generally don’t use many grid-type tangles as I prefer more asymmetrical/organic patterns. But this is so lovely and interesting. Although it’s foundationally a grid, the end result is very unexpected and looks unplanned. Thanks so much for sharing it! I’ll use this to disconnect from the news cycle this evening.

  • Bobbi Walker

    I haven’t tried it yet Jodi, but the fossil itself was so intriguing to me, I just had to study it for awhile. I think you did a fantastic job make a tangle from it! I look forward to giving it a try.
    Thank you for sharing that with us.

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