A to Z of Zentangle · My Tangles

The Crux of the Matter

I was surprised that this week’s Diva challenge was to use the tangle crux. Surprised because I published a tangle with that same name in Made in the Shade 4 years ago. I’ve had people publish “my” tangles with a different name before, but this was a switch. Great minds think alike, you know.

It made me start thinking about tangle names and “ownership.” When is a tangle ever really new? When it is “just” a tangleation? Can anyone ever “own” a tangle?There have been a lot of thought-provoking and well-written articles lately about naming and claiming tangles amongst CZTs lately. So, rather than fan the flames,  I just decided to use both tangles.

Here is crux as published in Made in the Shade, now called CRIS CRUX:


As I was tangling today, I discovered a new way to draw it that I think is easier. Instead of starting with 2 different sized squares, start with a grid of small squares. It requires “less focus” this way, and all of the auras make it more relaxing to draw. Here are the new step outs:


And here are the two crux tangles playing nicely together.


And another on Renaissance.


Both of these tangles have so many areas to add color and personalization.

The crux of the matter is to enjoy your tangle, no matter what you want to call it!


18 thoughts on “The Crux of the Matter

  1. Your comments are wise, Cris. Patterns are thousands of years old. Step-outs are relatively new. I guess people have been encouraged to “take ownership” of the step-outs. However, for my two cents, I really admire the writings of Yanagi Soetsu who wrote a book: The Unnamed Craftsman.

    Zia’s are personal. Claiming them as your own work of art…this I get.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well said, lady, and you are a real lady!

    There have been so many patterns that look like other patterns that it can be very confusing. Maybe we all got off track by using “patterns” instead of just strokes that connect. I know that I enjoyed simply doodling before I ever saw a pattern & now it is less joyful for me.

    And, by the way, I have your Made in the Shade book so I saw CRUX at its birth.:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It makes me sad that drawing is less joyful for you now that you have discovered Zentangle. I hope it is just a temporary thing. I know that I go through phases where I do too much judging and comparing to truly get into the Zen of Zentangle, but they are usually short-lived. I hope you find your joy again.


  3. Very interesting Chris. It’s hard too know sometimes where the credit is really due, isn’t it. You have a healthy attitude about it however. I like your Crux and it does live very nicely with the other Crux in your tiles. Really nice! I especially like the one on the Renaissance tile.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like your tiles with Crux of whatever name we gave them. Your words are wise and I think it’s a pity to spend energy in ‘mine or yours’. And never forget that there is nothing really new under the sun.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Re ownership of Tangles. I was recently at a health retreat and I did a lot of Zentangle drawing. People were interested and intrigued. One lady ‘explained’ Zentangle to another. Whatever it was she was talking about, it certainly wasn’t Zentangle. She also got a bit offended when I explained the origins of the name and the process. She thought I was wrong. Her loss.

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  6. You’re absolutely right about ownership. What a person “owns” is the step out, not the pattern and there are often different ways to step it out, as you also show here. Let’s not get side tracked – even “official” ones from Zentangle are rarely new in essence. It’s the mind set that really counts, isn’t it? And I love that renaissance tile, so full of life.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Well your tile of Crux’s came out very well together and all the tiles are lovely. What is a new tangle and what is just a variation puzzles me too and in the new Zentangle Primer even Maria says she is not sure. Take the official tangles Tipple and Quipple for example. To me Quipple seems to be just a variation of Tipple. Anyway with the new fragments and reticula there are going to be loads of new variations, or should that be new Tangles?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Zentangle is evolving and growing. It seems to me that at the dawn of Zentangle, they did not have the concept of tangleations. Just guessing here because I am CZT 5 and not 1, but I agree with you that Quipple & Tipple are different names for the same tangle. I like the quote in Rick and Maria’s new book: “We call this drawing process the ‘Zentangle Method,’ not the ‘Zentangle Collection of Tangles.’ You do not need many tangles to practice the Zentangle Method.” Not sure about anyone else, but it reminded me of Pattern Play.


  8. Both are great but very different I think, thanks for showing us yours. Love the combination of both in your tile, Chris Crux, and Henrike Crux play well together.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love how you worked both your Crux and this new one in together. I especially like the last Renaissance tile – so flowing and interesting! Beautiful and clever work!


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