5-Session Series: Drawing Moroccan Geometric Patterns

This is a specially curated series to go deeper into the art of sacred Moroccan geometric patterns. For five consecutive Saturdays, from May 16 - June 13, join VAWAA Artist and multidisciplinary craftsman Hamza as we learn about the different designs of Islamic and Jewish art found in many of Morocco's traditional buildings, mosques and synagogues. 

Each session will last 2 hours, building up smoothly into something deeper and more grand. To top it off, we'll end every session with a special 10-minute performance of Moroccan Andalusian oud music by Hamza himself!

Please note that VAWAA Online Pass cannot be used for this series.

Joining us from a different time zone? Be sure to convert the time.

Session 1: May 16 9:30 - 11:30AM EDT

We'll learn the very basics of geometry, that is how to divide a circle into the 3 main Moroccan geometric families: the 5 FOLD, the 6 FOLD, and the 8 FOLD family. Then, we'll construct a 12 fold rosette often found in Moroccan interior cedar wooden doors. 

Session 2: May 23 9:30 - 11:30 AM EDT

We'll create a 10 fold rosette -- a Zellij pattern found in Hamza's house. 

Session 3: May 30 9:30 - 11:30 AM EDT

We'll construct one of the beautiful 8 fold pattern found in the famous 18th Century Sidi Ahmed Tijjani Zawiya (a sufi shrine) in Fes Medina. This pattern appears on tiles, woodwork, and metal. 

Session 4: June 6 9:30 - 11:30 AM EDT

We'll explore a floating tessellation of the 5 pointed star. This pattern and many of its diversities became a famous nationalistic symbol during the French colonial period in Morocco between 1912-1956; especially after the kingdom of Morocco changed its flag from the 6 pointed star to the 5 pointed star. 

Session 5: June 13 9:30 - 11:30 AM EDT

We'll explore the construction of hidden square grids for a tessellation of the 8 fold pattern or the Seal of Solomon.

What you'll need

A compass, pencil, ruler, paper (A4 or A3), eraser, sharpener, and coloring pencils.

How to join

We'll be hosting this VAWAA Online on Zoom. We'll send the link and details to join via email a few hours before each session begins.

About Hamza

Hamza is an Andalusian Oud musician, a geometer, brass-smith, bookbinder, paper-maker, paper-marbler and founder of a crafts studio dedicated to Moroccan arts and crafts in Fes. He comes from a multigenerational family of artisans and passing on crafts knowledge is a family culture. He apprenticed under his father and traveled around 15 countries crafting and learning from masters. Now his mission is to continue this legacy and help people around the world connect with old Moroccan crafts. His traditional art revolves around the art of Compass & Ruler. With those two instruments, he draws and traces Moorish and Islamic geometric patterns, etches and engraves them on brass and copper trays and embosses them on leather book covers.

Visit his artist page to learn more about his in-person VAWAA.


"Working live with Hamza was truly inspiring. He is an excellent teacher and was also able to ground us with the cultural significance of his art all throughout the lesson." - Steve

"Mr Hamza is an amazing teacher. He taught in a simple way and he gave a nice historical speech about islamic geometry. I love how he gives variations and different possibilities of the pattern. This opens up our curiosity and nourish our creativity." - Mona

"The surprise moment was when Hamza played this instrument for us after we were done with the pattern making. This made the whole experience personal & real." - Hitasha

"Well conducted using Zoom enabling us to understand the process and produce an attractive repeating pattern in a short time." - Sally

"The two hours with a fantastic teacher flew by! I'd recommend it if you get the chance!" - Ezra