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v1.10 preface
v1.10 cover
v1.10 index


The Celtic Art Coracle Volume 1 Issue 10
Question and Answers from the Keltic Knots Course

Q&A: The Question of Transmission

Dear Aidan,
well, this is fun. As soon as the boys are asleep, I come out in the kitchen and take my "knot-bag" off the refrigerator and "vege-out" on some dots. It's very soothing. I've practiced everything. As I work on a new step, it's very pleasant.  ... As I black in around the braids, I keep wondering if this technique was handed down to us in an unbroken chain from the original artisans, or if one of them had the foresight to write down the steps. Or did the artform die out, to be discovered later by someone clever enough to discern the gridwork and so on?
M., Vermont.

Dear M.
the technique of knot design does not depend on a chain of teachers. it is preserved in works of art such as the Book of Kells, which is full of the greatest examples of Celtic knots. Every Celtic artist should have a copy. I recommend the inexpensive paperback edition, The Book of Kells, by Peter Brown, (Knopf, N.Y., 1980), as a workhorse reference book, and the fuller edition by Françoise Henry (Thames and Hudson, London, 1974).  But the knowledge of the proper method did die out, until research began again in the 1800's, pioneered cheifly by J. Romilly Allen and , in the mid 1900's George Bain, and really only emerged fully during the 1970's, from several, independent sources, the best known of which is perhaps Carl Nordenfalk's Celtic and Anglo-Saxon Painting, 1977. 

Two Knots by M. of Vermont

Fig. 92: Solomon's Knot  

Fig. 92: Solomon's Knot

.Fig. 93: The Basic Knot

Fig. 93: The Basic Knot

The basic knot can also be described as  a Square Triquetra, a three- cornered knot in a square box


Art: copyright © Aidan Meehan 1983



The Celtic Art Coracle Vol 1
Contents © Coracle Press 1983
ISSN 0828-8321 
All Rights Reserved

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