Cosmati Tiled Patterns for a Church Floor – designed by students from Thomas More College of Liberal Arts

For the final part of the spring semester, the students were assigned a project in which they were asked to design a church floor using traditional forms. I gave them two options. First, they could design a sanctuary floor, which must include the quincunx – four circles spinning out of a central circle. This is a geometric representation of the four Evangelists taking the Word of God, represented by the central circle, out to the four corners of the world through their gospels. Second, they could design the floor of a nave, the main body of the church, and this must employ a shape called the guilloche, which is a chain of interconnecting circles.

In each case they had to follow the general design principle of ordering the space into regular orthogonal shapes, in the nave you can see that each has been sub-divided into a series of rectangles. then the infill is made of a range of patterns. I gave a selection of tradition romanesque geometric patterns for them to choose from.

The students whose work you see are, from top: Nicole Martin, Augustine Kamprath, Erin Monfils, Aleth Sargent, Teresa Webster and Cecilia Black.








David Clayton


David is an Englishman living in New Hampshire, USA. He is an artist, teacher, published writer and broadcaster who holds a permanent post as Artist-in-Residence and Lecturer in Liberal Arts at the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts. The Way of Beauty program, which is offered at TMC, focuses on the link between Catholic culture, with a special emphasis on art, and the liturgy. David was received into the Church in London in 1993. Visit the Way of Beauty blog at

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  • Pargontwin

    I remember when every church had floors like this – A lot of them still do; they just covered it over with carpet.  Rip up the carpets and let the beauty shine through!