- Series: Dover Art Instruction
- Paperback: 160 pages
- Publisher: Dover Publications; 1 edition (June 1, 1973)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0486229238
- ISBN-13: 978-0880297837
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.4 x 12 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 132 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,586 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Celtic Art: The Methods of Construction (Dover Art Instruction) Paperback – June 1, 1973
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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.
Top customer reviews
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Here under user reviews, you will find folks that say the book is an instant classic, while others feel that Mr. Bain's work offers very little how-to.
They're both right.
The foreword itself warns that Mr. Bain thinks that excess explanation will interfere with the student's properly grasping how to absorb this innately complicated art form. Granted, most of us don't get to see the foreword before ordering it online...
There IS some how-to, but very little. Well, alright... very little doesn't cut it as a descriptor. The how-to is a set of diagrams with the beginning of the design progressing to the finished design. There's no lengthy script on "Okey-dokey, start here... now make THIS shape... now THAT shape.."
Truth be told, you are on your own when it comes to how you're going to start the raw layout of the design. The irony is that that's the ultimate truth of learning any skill. People can show and tell, but comprehension is a solitary act and one that is unique to each learner. All said, Mr. Bain's approach of learning visually and being forced to wade through the relatively complicated examples may very well be the best.
So far I have experienced the truth of a previous reviewer: Follow the examples and you'll get it.
I won't lie. It hurts. But it feels really good to see myself make a pattern without the help of the book. And in less than 24 hours.
Thus far, my recommendation is this: Buy this book. It's cheap, it's comprehensive, it's worth it.
Second: If you need further instruction, spend the time it takes to find more spelt-out tutorials on the internet free of charge. Simply doing a search on the words CELTIC KNOT PDF yields plenty of worthwhile results. Having the book means you won't have to be glued to your PC at all times for art instruction.
Awesome book, and I'm going to get back to practicing now.
Most recent customer reviews
Good manual to learn to make the designs.Read more