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What is Zentangle?
Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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Zentangle pattern: Hairpin Curve. 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.Hi there my tangling friends!

It’s the weekend and we’re edging closer to Fall with the return of all the sports we associate with that, NFL and college football pop to mind. In the UK, the Premier League is already underway. And F1 races resumed their schedule today with a visit to the circuit in Belgium. We’re leaving the lazy hazy days of summer behind for another turn around the sun …

Today’s Hairpin Curve tangle is from Japanese CZT Hiroko Muroi and it’s her first on the site.

Hairpin Curve is another tangle inspired by the world of wrought iron designs (see list). Recently we explored Claire Warner’s Darvaza and there we looked at the process of Italian wrought iron artist Villi Zanini in a video showing “A Day in the Life of an Italian Wrought Iron Craftsman”. Check out the 5-minute video if you haven’t already, it gives an appreciation of the craftsmanship that goes into something we might take for granted in our environment.

Hiroko introduces herself and explains how she named her Hairpin Curve tangle,

I teach Zentangle in Tochigi Prefecture. It is a beautiful place surrounded by nature.

I attended an online seminar in November 2020 and became a member of the Zentangle community. I have the pleasure of meeting many friends and being able to share the Zentangle Method with them.

I like iron sundries and have a lot of it in the garden and in the house. I was attracted by the beautiful Kirby line that is smooth even though it is a hard material. I wanted to draw such an iron as a tangle, so I expressed it with the “S curve” of Zentangle elemental strokes.

I want you to enjoy arranging ribbons and frames. The origin of the name is that the “S curve” became a sharp curve, so we named it “hairpin curve”.

From Wikipeida, a little more on the beautiful area Nikko’s from:

Utsunomiya is the capital and largest city of Tochigi Prefecture … Tochigi Prefecture is one of only eight landlocked prefectures and its mountainous northern region is a popular tourist region in Japan. The Nasu area is known for its onsens [hot springs], local sake, and ski resorts, the villa of the Imperial Family … The city of Nikko, with its ancient Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

For those unfamiliar with Zentangle’s elemental strokes for deconstructing a pattern to be drawn as a tangle,

Usually the number of elemental strokes needed are 3 or less. Often, you only need one or two.

By ‘elemental strokes’ we mean a dot, a straight(-ish) line, a curve (like a parenthesis), a reverse curve (like an ‘S’), and an orb or circle.“ ~ from the Zentangle blog

For an ingenious example of these elemental strokes used together as a tangle, be sure to check out CZT® Mina Hsiao’s Dicso. (Note: Not disco!)

For me the knack to getting Hairpin Curve shaping up was Hiroko’s emphasis on the elemental S-curve. I found that turning my tile so I was working vertically helped a good deal in keeping the S shapes going. Even so it was just a little trickier than I expected, mostly thanks to my balky thumb …

Hiroko illustrates the step-by-step instructions for drawing Hairpin Curve below where she also demonstrates some embellishments you might like to explore.

How to draw the Zentangle pattern Hairpin Curve, tangle and deconstruction by Hiroko Muroi. 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. (Small side note: if you look at the legalese in Pinterest, you are legally responsible for obtaining permission to post every photo that gets ‘Pinned’. Giving credit or sharing the source link doesn’t count.) 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 hirokomu for more of Hiroko’s tangles on

Enjoy a beautiful weekend …

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!
  10. Never miss a tangle! FREE eMAIL NEWSLETTER - visit the SUBSCRIBE page on the top menu bar of any page on the site and sign up to get notices delivered free to your inbox.


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3 comments to How to draw HAIRPIN CURVE

  • Jenn Brayton CZT36

    I’ve been trying to play more with ribbons and this seemed like it would be fun to play with, and it sure is! I’ve been tangling with the pattern the last couple of weeks and it grows around the edges of my tiles in such gorgeous ways! A lovely tangle to explore – thank you for sharing!! <3

  • Sue Zanker

    Dear Linda, I realise you may not have been able to answer my email, or probably this as well, but I wanted to let you know Maurie and I have been thinking of you and Robert and hoping that you have not been horribly involved in the Hurricane Ian. We live in Cyclone (hurricane) country here in Australia, so we know how terrifying they can be. Know that we, and the rest of the tangling community are thinking of you and hoping that you are both safe and well, amid the terrible chaos around you.
    With much love and concern,
    Sue and Maurie xx

    • Linda Farmer, CZT

      Hi Sue, many thanks for your messages of concern and support, MOST appreciated!! I did reply to your email so I’m not sure where that ended up 😉

      Fortunately for us, for this storm at least, we live on the Atlantic side of the state and so although we had very strong sustained winds for at least 12 hours that did do damage in the area, it was minor compared to the incomprehensible destruction on the Gulf side of the state. Terrible chaos indeed. Sadly many treasured landmarks are no longer and there is a very long hard road to recovery ahead for many thousands of Floridians.

      The experience does take an emotional toll, especially as we get older as I’m sure you know. It’s taking us a while to get back into a “normal” headspace!

      But all is good and again, thank you and Maurie so much for your prayers. Love and hugs to you too!

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