Category Archives: Celtic Art

Bumblepost: Learning Celtic Art – Suggested reading

Hi! Owen here! I want to take a minute to babble at you about learning how to make Celtic art. Specifically, about how I learned to make it.

Celtic Art: The Methods of Construction
– Written by George Bain

I started learning about Celtic art a few years ago when I stumbled across a very helpful book. “Celtic Art: The Methods of Construction.” It was written by a teacher named George Bain. He traveled around Europe finding examples of knotwork and recording them. He also did a lot of research into how and why it was made, at a time when there was a lot of scholarly disinterest. (Among other reasons, scholars dismissed celtic art as having merely been copied over from the art of other cultures.)

This book contains information on knotwork, plants, animals, and humans. It also has a section on a few different calligraphy fonts. The illustrations are large and, despite being in black and white, are easy to follow. Most of the text is hand lettered as well, which is charming. I personally miss seeing that in texts.

The step by step instructions in this book are easy for people who prefer to skip over written text when learning. So if you are the type to go from picture to picture when assembling pre-designed furniture, that should be a plus!

2. A Beginner’s Manual
– Written by Aidan Meehan

There are a whole lot of very interesting and helpful books written by Aidan Meehan, but I think the very first of his books will be the most useful to start with.

In “A Beginner’s Manual,” Aidan Meehan provides very clear and easy to read step by step instructions. The pictures are very easy to make out. There is more reading involved here in the instructions than in “The Methods of Construction,” but the pace of instruction is also a bit slower. I think it works well.

Once you finish this one, there are a ton of other books on every conceivable subject regarding knotwork. (Note: I haven’t read all of these, though I intend to once I can get my hands on them!)

Lastly, I want to show some of my older knotwork pictures. I have plenty of newer stuff I’ll be showing off soon, but I thought it would be fun to pull up a few of my older examples from Zazzle. I made these while first learning with “The Methods of Construction.”

First, some round tile pieces that I decided to experiment painting gradients with.

These last two are transgender symbol designs. I saw there were plenty of trans symbols making their way around the internet, but they all seemed to be the same – either black and white, or with a colorful photoshopped gradient. I wanted to see other kinds, and so here are some of mine: