Ox Cart Wheels

blog photo 1Last week I told you about my trip to Costa Rica and showed some photos of the decorative ox cart wheels that are an important part of the culture. It might be difficult, at first glance, to look at these awesome designs and figure out how to adapt them for use in a quilt. This week I want to show you images of more wheels and tell you how you can create your own design using some of the techniques that the artisans of Costa Rica use.

Each wheel is divided into 16 wedges. The design is painted onto the wedge and that motif is repeated 15 more times to complete the decorative wheel. Each artist makes their own design, all similar in style but unique to the artist. Notice the wheel shown here. The white lines indicate one of the 16 wedges.

blog photo 21. This particular design has six circles. Other designs might have more or less. The distance between the circles is arbitrary, according to the artist’s whim. Start with 32 spokes and draw the first part of the design.

illustration 12. Increase the spokes to 64 and draw the remaining portions of the design.

illustration 23. Make 16 identical wedges to complete the design.

illustration 3Look at these additional photos of ox cart wheels and see if you can find the “wedge”

blog photo 3blog ox cart 2blog ox cart 3