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Celtic Art: The Methods of Construction

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  2,785 ratings  ·  20 reviews
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 mo ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published June 1973 by Dover Publications, Inc. (first published 1951)
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  2,785 ratings  ·  20 reviews

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Dec 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
I had to draw Celtic knots for a commission. After trying to wing it for days, i gave up and bought this book.

It saved my fat.
Mar 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
I've been picking up a lot of Celtic art books from the library recently (I'm in Scotland, so they're plentiful). This is by far my favourite. Fantastic sourcing, great essays about each section, and absolutely stunning and varied art examples. Definitely one I'll be buying to keep on my reference shelf.
What a great gem of a book!
Jun 23, 2009 rated it liked it
I have skimmed through this book and attempted some of the techniques in it. This is a hard art form... but I'm working on it.
May 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: artsy-fartsy
A good reference book for Celtic knot work.
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Amazing work. My mind is going over all the info compressed in to those fabulous panels. I can't wait to put what I've learned to use.
Juliana Haught
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is not a how-to but a reference. A nice book if you're interested in Celtic motifs and art.
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Dover reprint of notes & methods from 1940s. Examples, some schematics, lots of theory & colorful ideas. ...more
Bored Housewife
Jan 23, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Images too small

One star for this travesty. It's not hard to make an image to a discernible scale in Kindle.

But someone just hasn't bothered to format it properly and yet you're still charged a premium price!

The main focus of the book is its images but they're too small to make sense of so you can't defer to what the author is referring to.

This is supremely annoying. Pull your socks up, Amazon and start forcing publishers to ensure books are Kindle ready!!!!!
Mar 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: medieval
A beautiful book. I will enjoy having it as a reference for classic designs, but it's not as helpful as I thought it would be for creating my own knots. The first few pages show how the reader how to create different patterns, and it's fascinating. I'd say there is more focus on different design elements as opposed to the creation of the knots themselves.
Sep 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art, celtic
This is the inner sanctum on the subject of Celtic art. It gave me some serious respect for the thing....
Andrew Watt
Feb 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: how-to
The older style is going to be nearly unreadable by someone today, but it's still an awesome overview. Bain clearly paved the way for people like Co Spinhoven and Aidan Meehan.
Lisa Sellers
Mar 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cursillo
love this book - Charlotte H. brought me copies of pages from the one in Iona Scotland. I treasure it.
Feb 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Annie by: Joe
I love this book! It has helped me create some unique cross stitch designs. Plus it gives a little history. A must for crafters
Austen to Zafón
Mar 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Excellent reference for how to create Celtic knots and other designs. I used it for years.
Mar 13, 2008 added it
Recommends it for: those learning celtic knotwork
Shelves: art-photo
George Bain is the best resource if you'd like to learn how to drawn or simply study traditional celtic knotwork.
May 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art
Great for art teachers
Mar 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
A reproduction of the work originally published in Glasgow in 1951.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Dec 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
For actual construction methods, Iain Bain's more engineered approach works better for basic knotwork and panels, but the keywork and spirals are without comparison.
Subhrajyoti Bhuiyan
rated it it was amazing
May 31, 2015
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Apr 02, 2015
James Davis
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Aug 06, 2013
rated it it was ok
Jun 11, 2013
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Aug 28, 2013
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Oct 20, 2012
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Feb 01, 2016
rated it it was amazing
Nov 18, 2014
TL. Cutrer
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Jan 16, 2015
Josette Nichols
rated it it was amazing
May 06, 2014
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Artist who became known as the father of modern Celtic design.

Born in Scrabster in the far north of Scotland, he was an art teacher who almost single-handedly revived interest in Celtic and Insular art.

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