Patterns always fascinate me, as there appears to be almost infinite possibilities. And the history of humankind seems to bear this out, as is clear in a book I obtained 2nd hand edtitled "The World of Ornament" published by Taschen in their Bibliotheca Universalis range. This publication is a bringing together of two seminal works on pattern and ornament: Auguste Racinet’s L’Ornement polychrome Volumes I and II (1875–1888) and Auguste Dupont-Auberville’s L’Ornement des tissus (1877).

From the publisher:

Encompassing classical, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Etruscan, Asian and middle-Eastern, as well as European designs from medieval times through the 19th century, this compilation of cultures and esthetics offers a primary reference for artists, historians, designers and patternmakers, and anyone engaged in decorative design and impact.

Naturally I seek to study these two greatest encyclopedic collections, and this afternoon I started with recreating in Adobe Illustrator a beautiful early Greek motif from the frieze of the Parthenon

Greek Pattern1

Once I'd recreated the motif digitally, I thought it might be interesting to use the sheer power of Illustrator to utilise it as both a Pattern Brush tracing the circumference of a circle, and then defining a Pattern Swatch to tile it seamlessly within a polygon I created and a simpler oval. This was a valuable opportunity to brush up (no pun intended) on working to create seemless patterns for swatch and brush applications.

Greek 1 pattern oval