This course has concessions available

Geometric Art And Pattern

New online creative course to inspire you to use everyday 'downmarket' materials to make beautiful and 'upmarket' pieces. The main focus will be transforming geometric patterns into 3D artworks, inspired by Middle Eastern art and architecture, especially exquisitely pierced window shutters.

Content will include learning how to use a ruler and compass to construct basic geometric shapes, working with images and cultural research into patterns from Islamic art, history and architecture, discovering what a mashrabiya is and challenging yourself to make a deceptively simple but intricate lattice from strips of cut, folded and curved card.
Classes will involve some self study and information being sent to you via email. The course will be run via the zoom platform.

Helena Roden is an experienced Sculpture and Art tutor who has taught classes in MWC and in community settings across London. She is part of the MWC team responsible for collaborative projects with the British Museum exploring themes from Celtic knots to Australian dots.

Who is this course for

This course is for people who like making things, people who like learning some background cultural history, who can measure accurately and also bring their own visual ideas to a project. But it is also for people who want to learn together in a social environment. Even though you are stuck at home, you will get to know your fellow students and tutor and show each other your work and ask questions.

Please read on to the end to see the list of materials for your course.

Your tutor Helena Roden is an experienced art tutor who has taught classes in MWC and in community settings across London. When she is not teaching she is a sculptor on big public art commissions; her colourful works can be found in parks, housing developments and underpasses. Her strengths are an inventive attitude to materials and an appreciation of how varied and interesting her students are.

What does this course cover

This course will cover; cutting up, folding and sticking card, why it is worth measuring accurately, the principles of designing patterns with squares, grids and circles using a compass and ruler (and alternative methods if you haven't got a compass), looking at traditional and contemporary Islamic architectural patterns and screens, creating two different patterns to fill your square modules and combining them to make a panel.

What will it be like

This is a new way of being in a class for all of us, me included! You will be looking at and interacting with a screen but you will still be using your hands, tools, materials and brain as in a traditional class. We will adapt to being online with each other, I will be able to email you reference pictures and information before the class, then demonstrate techniques and give you help during the class. You can still have a laugh with your fellow students and even have a teabreak.
This is a new online course being developed by The Mary Ward Centre. The nature of the delivery will be different from a face to face class: but we will do our best to retain a friendly and community experience that you expect from us. Although you may be asked to develop work on your own or between classes, we will endeavour to build in flexible small group work and more individualised feedback, so there is still a personal quality to the experience.

I will give you constructive feedback as we go through the course, and the group will be encouraged to support each other's efforts. There are no exams!

What else do you need to buy or do

The course will be run via the zoom platform, please make sure you have installed it in advance of your first class on your computer or mobile device. You can sign up for free here:

You will need a microphone and camera, (its fine to use whatever is built into your device) so we can see you via video. You may also want to use headphones during the session. Whether you are working on a laptop, phone or tablet, find a way to prop it up so you can work and we can see your face.

Make sure you have a small space to work in during the session.

By signing up to the course you are consenting to being on camera. The content of the lesson may be recorded by the tutor for internal education and training purposes.

I have designed this course to use things you hopefully have at home; scissors or craft knife, a ruler, pencil, white craft glue (pva) or Sellotape or a stapler, a compass and card. Collect as much card as you can; shirt packaging, cereal boxes, etc. as big as possible, for example a 500g box of Wheetos costs £2 and will provide nearly the same area of card as an A2 sheet. Art materials can be ordered online and I can suggest suppliers.

What this course could lead to

Further Study with Mary Ward Centre, a reduction in lockdown boredom, sense of creative achievement and some social closeness as opposed to social distancing.

mwc logo

I've been to many Centres to study in London and the Mary Ward Centre is one of the nicest I've studied in.

MWC student


This course has concessions available for people who meet certain criteria

Got a Question about this Course?

Contact The Departmental Administrator.

Unavailable Classes:

Why come to Mary Ward Centre?

Mary Ward Centre is the adult education centre with a difference.   We provide a wide range of subjects for people at all levels and run courses during the day, evening or weekend to suit your timetable.

Get inspired and enjoy excellent teaching in an environment where each individual’s learning experience is valued. That’s what makes Mary Ward Centre ‘the friendly place to learn.’