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Tips & Tricks to Gothic: Trefoil | Ogee Arch | Equilateral Arch | Rose Window


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Over 30 pages of diagrams,
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An instantly recognizable feature of Gothic is the stonework tracery that decorates fan vaulting, rose windows, arcaded cloisters, to simple windows and doorways. Many of the following shapes morph and grow from an interesting variety of other shapes - including triangles, pentagons, hexagons, circles, or circles within circles. The trefoil or trifoil begins with a simple equilateral triangle:



Set out an equilateral triangle (to find out how, click here). Measure half the length between A-C to find point D. Now measure half the length of line B-C to find point E. Draw a line from points D- B and E-A, to find center, F.



From center F, extend your compass to point A. Swing
around and return to point A to complete the outer circle.
Extend lines B-D and A-E.



To construct a horizontal center line, divide A-B to find point H.
At point C, extend the center line down through F-H-G.




Now use centers A, B and C to form the three arcs.
Extend your compass from F-J to complete the outer circle.

The outer, triangular 'piercing' that surrounds the arcs is accomplished by using center F and one center of each
of the three 'eyes'; for example: A, C and F as shown in the
left piercing, above.



Continue around until the design is complete.


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