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Without a borderline

Without a borderline With a borderline You can see the sharp and soft lines in the example left, creating a very discordant image. Where there are vertical lines there are no triangle cuts needed so you have white squares next to black squares, what we term a 'soft' line. Triangle cuts next to triangle cuts create a 'sharp' line. On the right the line becomes much softer and more pleasing to the eye by the addition of the two Borderlines to pull the triangle shapes away from each other. They are still there but become less noticeable in amongst the other tesserae. If these triangles were set next to the figure or where there is any colour change, the ‘flow’ would be lost by some areas of the mosaic having this sharp outline and some a soft. As you looked at the figure or object then there 21

would be both soft and sharp areas all the way around which would distract the eye too much. Hence the use of the borderline to make the lines of the triangles less obvious. So you can see that the line of white tesserae around figures is not to make the figures stand out, it's so figures do not stand out. The idea is for the subject or pattern to be seen in its entirety and to not have the eye focus on any one area. If it is a scene with figures in it, then it is the story they illustrate that is important. Below, a triangle shape on its own to show how this appears in geometric patterns. Notice that there is a borderline inside the triangle as well as around the outside. On the left, without any borderlines you get a sharp line on either side but a ‘soft’ line across the bottom. On the right the borderline pushes 22

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