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Celtic Art: The Methods of Construction Paperback – Sep 1996

3.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 164 pages
  • Publisher: Constable & Robinson (September 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0094769001
  • ISBN-13: 978-0094769007
  • Product Dimensions: 22.7 x 1 x 28.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,191,681 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is a great introduction to the various aspects of Celtic art. George Bain takes the reader through step by step on how to construction knotworks, borders, spirals and key patterns. Bain also talks about lettering and zoomorphics (interlaced animals). Almost every page contains several black and white illustrations with reference to the historical bookgrounds of the designs.
This is a must for any artist new to the Celtic world of illuminated manuscripts, symbol stones and metalwork
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Format: Paperback
Not too long ago I got the idea for a series of paintings with a celtic-medieval themed look. This book was one of the two books on celtic designs I bought. The type of patterns shown are very diverse and range from simple borders, to spirals, zoomorphs (animal-designs), calligraphy to examination of designs from Lindisfarne and the Book of Kells. It is also the most extensive of any of the books on this subject that I've seen. The only drawback is that the method for constructing these designs is not easy. As one earlier reviewer stated, the main method is to set up a grid pattern, draw out every line then erase the ones not needed. There are other books with simpler, better step-by-step details for constructing celtic designs. However, no other single book covers such a wide range as this one. It also covers a lot of complex designs and shows how to recreate them that no other celtic pattern books demonstrate. Quite a lot of the history of these designs is covered too. For anyone who can only afford one book on this subject this one will be all they'll ever need.
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Format: Paperback
Among those in my acquaintance who are fond of Celtic art, George Bain's Celtic Art is the one which most buy first. I did. Then I read it and found that some of his instructions (particularly for creating knotwork) seem totally off-the-wall and totally indecipherable. However, for some reason, he seemed to be the only one who has ever come up with a way to recreate impossibly complex knotwork panels, and do more than just plain fretted knotwork. Fear not, Dear Reader! If you follow his instructions, practice the designs as he shows them, you will ultimately discover what he is trying to say. And when you do, the entire world of complex, bewildering and magical knotwork will open up to you.
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.
Enjoy!
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Format: Paperback
A "HOW-TO" DRAWING REFERANCE FOR ARTISTS AND BEGINNERS ABOUT TO EMBARK ON THE CELTIC AND PICTISH MYSTERIES. A GOOD MAINSTAY FOR THE DRAWING PHASES OF YOUR WORK, WITH HAND-DRAWN EXAMPLES FROM THE BOOK OF KELLS, LINDISFARNES, AND DURROW. ALSO COMPARES THE SIMILAR TYPES OF LINES AND KNOTS FROM OTHER EARLY CIVILIZATIONS, AND SOME EXAMPLES OF HIS OWN WORKS.COMPARIBLE TO HIS SONS (IAN BAIN) OWN "HOW-TO" BOOK,BUT MUCH LESS RIGID.GEORGE BAIN ALSO SHOWS YOU HOW TO DO SOME ZOOMIPHORICS (ANIMALS) AND SPIRALS NOT FOUND IN HIS SONS WONDERFULL BOOK FOR BEGINNERS. HERE IS TRUTH IN TITLE.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a wonderful reference to the types of celtic designs available. For those who have had plenty of experience in creating Celtic art, and are familiar w/ several techniques (and probably have a preferred technique), this book is a must. For those who are just beginning to explore the wonderful world of Celtic art, however, the book is difficult, and might be discouraging. My suggestion for beginners would be to learn to draw Celtic art from a more basic source, and the use this book as inspiration.
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By A Customer on Oct. 19 2000
Format: Paperback
If you want to see examples of the variety of Celtic design, this book is a good resource. If you want to reproduce any of it and you aren't experienced, it's not very helpful -- there's too little comprehensible instruction. I've tried to draw by the diagrams but without luck. If you're a beginner (as I am) this book won't be of much help. Perhaps for artists with more experience and understanding of Celtic art this book would be of value.
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