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What is Zentangle?
Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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Use this Random Tangle Selector with your TANGLE GUIDE to help you select tangles. See Pages 7 and 9 of the Guide for instructions. You can also use this to select random Strings: simply pop in any number in the range of 1 to 250.



Tangle Refresher 218 – Why Write? Our random string, plus how to draw Avreal, Mosi, Mositoo, Auskelis, Novio

PenmanshipHappy Friday everyone!

I came across this post and video from a local TEDx event recently in my wanderings around the site and it’s perfect Buried Treasure to share again with you today.

In this absolutely fascinating 16-minute video, “Master Penman Jake Weidmann explores the connections between the pen and how we learn, think, and carry our cultural heritage at a time when the very act of writing is being dropped from school curricula across the country.

Here follows my original post  …

As we often point out, each person’s Zentangle® style is as unique as their handwriting.

But what of the future of handwriting itself?

With many thanks to New Hampshire CZT Bette Abdu for the heads up, today we share a thought-provoking video about the future of writing in the digital age and why penmanship does matter.

First a definition from Wikipedia:

Penmanship is the technique of writing with the hand using a writing instrument. Today, this is most commonly done with a pen, or pencil, but throughout history has included many different implements.

The various generic and formal historical styles of writing are called “hands” whilst an individual’s style of penmanship is referred to as “handwriting”.

According to Jake, 41 of the 50 United States no longer require handwriting to be a fundamental part of the curriculum. A very sorry statement indeed. {I wonder, should art teachers incorporate handwriting into their lesson plans?}

At 7:20 in the video Jake talks about the Cognitive Psychology course he took in which they studied how handwriting helps develop the brain, and he explains how this takes place.

Whatever you do, don’t miss Jake’s continuous-line portrait of Christ at 15:07 — it is jaw-dropping and beautiful. (As are the rest of the examples he includes.)

As dedicated tanglers, I’m sure we’d all agree with his assertion that a simple pen has shaped the way we live.

Thoughts, reactions? Let’s hear from you in the comments …

Jake Weidmann became the youngest person to receive his Master Penman certificate in July 2011. He works across several mediums including drawing in pencil and charcoal; pen and ink; painting in acrylic, airbrush, oil and gouache; sculpting in wood, bone, antler and clay; and is versed in numerous forms of calligraphy. He is best known for the integration of flourishing and hand-lettering in his art. Jake also designs his own hand-made pens. He, like his pens, travels the globe, reintroducing this Old World art form and cultivating its relevance in the world of today, of tomorrow, and forevermore.

Thanks again Bette!


Many tanglers like to use these occasional Tangle Refreshers as their Zentangle® challenge-of-the-day.

This TanglePatterns String was selected for today – either to go with today’s Buried Treasure or just to use as a starting point for your day’s tangling. The RANDOM TANGLE SELECTOR in the left sidebar makes it simple to choose a String-of-the-Day from the 250 free strings in our resource. Or just click on the STRINGS tab in the pink alphabetic tangle menu bar and choose one at random yourself.

Think of this as your tangle Challenge, if you’re so inclined. TanglePatterns String 062 is from CZT Adele Bruno and was originally posted here.

TanglePatterns String 062

Right click and SAVE to your computer; then print. Pinning or republishing content from this site is not permitted. Copyright notice is posted on the bottom of every page. Thank you for playing nice and respecting these rights.

Remember that Zentangle strings are always drawn freehand in pencil so that they magically disappear when you’ve finished tangling the tile.

A string is a simple device to “divide your drawing surface into sections to be filled with tangles“.

In the Zentangle PRIMER Vol 1 (now available in paperback for $23.95, or as an instant download Kindle Edition $9.99) there’s an entire section devoted to Strings which in part explains:

As you tangle, your strings disappear as if by magic. This adds to the charm and unified appearance of your completed art.

If you had used a pen to draw your string, you would still see the initial sectioning in your completed creation.

Strings are not intended to be the focal point of your tile, Zentangles should not look like coloring book drawings.

More String advice from The Book of Zentangle (now available in paperback for $19.95):

A string is a useful reference, but it is not an impenetrable barrier. Practice going outside your string. It will help increase your ability to think outside the box.

To download eBooks containing all 250 TanglePatterns Strings, visit the STORE > EBOOKS page.


The Tangle Refresher series, aka Buried Treasure, spotlights hidden tangle gems from the past. It can remind you of tangles you might not have used for a while or introduce you to some you haven’t come across yet.

Here are five more tangle pattern gems and a Tangle Refresher from the past for your tangling pleasure. Remember to check out the “More Good Stuff” links below too.

BTW as you visit these tangles please do leave a comment of thanks and encouragement to show the artists you appreciate them for sharing their creativity to inspire yours. And please share a link to your favorite tangles with your followers on all your social media. Thanks!

Zenful tangling!

Buried Treasure from the tangling past
Zentangle pattern: Avreal. 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. Avreal
Zentangle pattern: Mosi. 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. Mosi
Zentangle pattern: Mositoo. 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. Mositoo
Zentangle pattern: Auseklis. 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. Auseklis
Zentangle pattern: Novio. 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. Novio
Revisit the Tangle Refresher from a year ago Tangle Refresher 189

More good stuff …


Enhance your Zentangle experience while supporting TanglePatterns:

CURRENT EDITION! TANGLE GUIDE, 2024 Edition TANGLE GUIDE, 2024 Edition The 13th Edition of the TANGLE GUIDE is an instant-download 109-page interactive digital eBook/PDF containing approximately 2,000 tangles on the site from May 2010 through December 31, 2023. It's a great resource and a must-have digital tool for using the site. Visit the STORE > E-BOOKS page and help keep going by getting your copy now!

"Linda, Thank you! I was relying on too few and getting stuck after 3 years of daily working with Zentangle. This has inspired me to ‘begin again’ with renewed excitement." ~ Barbara R.

See the BOOK REVIEWS page for more details on its features and view a sample page. Note: this is a digital product you download immediately when you place your order, nothing will be physically mailed to you.
GIFT ORDERS FOR ANOTHER PERSON: To give the TANGLE GUIDE as a gift, visit this page to place your gift order.
If you're new to Zentangle® and tangling, my BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO ZENTANGLE is just what you need to get started. Also available en Français and en Español.

Zentangle Primer Volume 1 This is the only Zentangle book you'll ever need: the fabulous Zentangle PRIMER Vol 1. It's your CZT-in-a-book by the founders of Zentangle®. Visit the STORE tab on the top menu bar or click on the image. For more about the content and to read the rave reviews, visit the BOOK REVIEWS tab.
NEW! Now available in KINDLE format for $9.99. Spanish Edition here. Japanese Edition here.
"Absolutely the best Zentangle Book yet! As an accomplished artist I used to think I did not need instruction on this art form. How wrong I was! My tangling improved by leaps and bounds after reading this book. If you think you have Zentangle down then you need this book more than ever!" ~ Kris H


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8 comments to Tangle Refresher 218 – Why Write? Our random string, plus how to draw Avreal, Mosi, Mositoo, Auskelis, Novio

  • Roberta Cook

    Thank you SO much for sharing this inspirational link to Jake Weidmann, Linda. How confronting to think that handwriting has been so down-valued. I grew up using dip pens at school and have always loved writing with ink. This video has made me more determined than ever to keep developing the passion and ability to incorporate handwriting into my everyday … along with tangling and watercolour. I’ll also be encouraging my grandchildren to take up the pen – not just a keyboard.

    • Linda Farmer, CZT

      Thanks so much Roberta, isn’t Jake amazing and inspiring. My Mom wrote, “so interesting and beautiful, what a Master.” How wonderful for your grandchildren, and what a great legacy for them to learn this fabulous skill with your encouragement. And how much joy and satisfaction for you 🙂

    • Joyce Blodgett

      Roberta, I just now read your comment, and I want to say Good for you for encouraging your grandchildren to take up pen and ink! I think it’s a travesty that the modern education system doesn’t put any emphasis on the things we learned in school—even that wasn’t as much as (I) needed, but at least we, or I, had teachers who were genuinely interested in teaching us how to THINK, how to write out our thoughts in an intelligent manner that correctly (and politely, as one of my teachers emphasized was important) expresses what we want to say. While I really can’t control dip pens anymore, I do think I’m going to treat myself to a set of calligraphy pens this month—one of my friends just got one for herself, and she’s going to teach herself and her 14 y.o. daughter and 13 y.o. son calligraphy.

  • Joyce Blodgett

    Mr. Weidmann’s points are all valid and pertinent. I love–LOVE!–to write, and have done so since I first learned how to hold a pencil and make (very sloppy little kid marks) “letters” on paper. My parents strongly encouraged the four of us to write as much as we wanted, and to strive for the very best penmanship we could each achieve. My siblings never had the desire to do more than write enough to get by, but I’ve made up for that over the decades :-D.
    I also love to draw, and am taking online drawing lessons. One of the instructors is very big on utilizing letters to turn into drawings, so I want to learn from him, as well as the others.
    Sorry I yapped so much, but this one hits a chord with me, believing as I do that everyone should learn how to write as best they can, and then to improve during the course of their life.

  • Maxine Erickson

    Thank you so much for sharing this thoughtful and insightful Ted Talk, Mr Weidmann’s has changed my mind about penmanship, I thought it was just going out of style and typing would prevail. But after listening to all his comments I have changed my mind. That’s a good thing.

  • Jan Brandt

    Linda, thank you so much for posting the link to Jake Weidmann’s Ted Talk. I absolutely loved his 16-minute presentation and am SO impressed with talent!! He is not only a master of calligraphy but also possesses a unique talent for synthesizing into words his belief that writing by hand is incredibly important for so many reasons! What amazing talent!!!!!

  • Thanks for sharing this amazing piece on such a simple thing as the pen with Jake. A very inspiring talk for sure.

  • Barb B. CZT

    What a wonderful presentation and an amazing young man! He is an artist in the truest sense. Hopefully, The young people will continue to learn the fine art of writing.Barb B.

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