Celtic Art: The Methods of Construction Paperback – Sep 1996
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From the Back Cover
The construction principles of Celtic art were re-discovered in the middle of the 20th century by George Bain. Until his writing, the intricate knots, interlacings, and spirals used in illuminating The Book of Kells and in decorating craftwork and jewelry seemed almost impossible, "the work of angels." In this pioneering work, George Bain shows how simple principles, no more difficult than those used in needlecraft, were used to create some of the finest artistic works ever seen. He also explains how you can use these principles in re-creating artifacts and in creating your own Celtic designs for art and craft work or even for recreational use.
Step-by-step procedures carefully introduce the simple rules and methods of Celtic knot work and the well-known designs from the great manuscripts and stone work. Later chapters build up to complex knot work, spiral work, and key pattern designs, with special coverage of alphabets and the stylized use of animals, humans, and plants. Altogether over 225 different patterns are presented for your use, with hundreds of modification suggestions, 110 historical and modern artifacts showing designs in use, a great number of letters including six complete alphabets and 25 decorative initials, and a number of animal and human figures used in the original Celtic works.
Artists, students, craftspeople, even children can work with these patterns and instructions for creating dynamic designs for use in leather work, in embroidery and other needle work, in metalwork, jewelry making, card design, borders, panels, illuminations, and in countless other ways. Mathematicians will find a great deal of pleasure in the geometric principles on which the patterns are based. Art historians and others interested in studying Celtic art will find a great number of outstanding art works and the best presentation in English for understanding Celtic design.
About the Author
George Bain clearly demonstrated in his classrooms, to judge from pupils' work here illustrated, hat through practice and application in his methods of constructing decoration, anyone with the initial interest can release this innate interest to beautiful and mark out the impress of their individuality that has been a quality in man since the Neolithic times of the cave artist and still finds expression through the subconscious outlines of the phone-pad doodler.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a must for any artist new to the Celtic world of illuminated manuscripts, symbol stones and metalwork
However, knotwork is not the only type of art that Bain covers in this book. He also analyzes fretwork (mazes), spirals and zoomorphic forms (animal and human forms which can sometimes even be interlaced), as well. These, comprise the entire corpus of form used in the great books of Celtic and Anglo-Saxon art which were created in the 6th through 8th centuries.
Let me also put a good word in for Bain's survey of Hiberno/Anglo-Saxon calligraphy as well, in which he assembles many of the fanciful letter forms for which this form of writing is known.
I do own all of Aidan Meehan's books (and also recommend them), but if you can only afford to buy one book, buy this one. Then, as you can afford others, branch out into Meehan (and even Bain's son, Iain has written a book on knotwork!), and begin purchasing surveys of the Books of Kells and Lindisfarne so that you can study from the true masters.
Most recent customer reviews
The plates could be clearer and there could have been designs separated from the plates, and deconstructed so a beginner could use them,Published 10 months ago by sassykq
This is the best book for people who want to learn how to make celtic knotes. My art teacher had this book and i knew i had to buy one for my self.Published on July 12 2001 by A 12-year old reader
Bain's book is widely regarded as a classic in the field of celtic art. Like many "classics in the field", the book often contains statements incomprehensible to the... Read morePublished on June 26 1998
I think that he did a very credible job, and his book was one of the first available on the subject. Read morePublished on May 19 1998