Living Celtic Knotwork Jul15

Living Celtic Knotwork...

Celtic knots are magical. The complexity of the most ancient Celtic art works seems to fly in the very face of what I posted about in my article on focus; there seems to be nothing to focus on at all. The sheer number of knots, changes, patterns were said to have been so intricate that only angels could have possibly carved them into stone or illuminated the pages of ancient manuscripts. But the focus is there. The focus is not on the knot, but on the piece itself as a contained system. When I finally took the plunge into the artistic construction of Celtic knots it was through the help of George Bain’s book Celtic Art: The Methods of Construction. Mr. Bain has spent his life studying the artwork of the ancient Celts in an attempt to understand them and recreate a lost art form. No small task, I set out to follow his guidance and started tentatively into a journey that ultimately began to transform me. Even as I learned how to weave together a simple dirk knot and began to move into more ornate borders and spirals, I soon learned that if I was going to continue I was lacking skills that I had forsaken long ago; mathematics. I suddenly had a reason to care about geometry and ratios in order to plan out spaces that would meet very tangible space requirements in order to be properly filled with the design I desired. I had to teach myself old compass and straight-rule tricks for the making of geometric objects. My spatial awareness began to blossom to a mantra of “over, under, over, under” as I wove three-dimensional lines into a two-dimensional medium. Knot construction is ultimately a meditation similar to the care...