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The Celtic Design Book

Aidan Meehan


'A treasure trove of ideas…excellent books for anyone really interested in Celtic design itself, or for anyone interested in developing their skills in formalized design' Popular Crafts


This edition brings together three of Aidan Meehan’s bestselling guides to the art and design of the Celts: A Beginner’s Manual, Knotwork: the Secret Method of the Scribes and Illuminated Letters.

A Beginner’s Manual presents all the simplest forms of Celtic design with a clear explanation of both freehand and canonical geometric methods, as well as detailed instructions on how to draw and decorate letters in an authentic Celtic style. It also shows the reader how to create their own illuminated manuscript pages with the help of an appendix of tools and techniques.

Knotwork: the Secret Method of the Scribes examines knotwork and plaitwork in detail against the sacred background from which they sprang. Illustrations of motifs taken from famous brooches and carvings show how Celtic knots can be adapted for all manner of craftwork.

Illuminated Letters is a unique blend of history, anecdote and practical instruction that recreates the schooling of the Celtic illuminator.

Together these books provide an invaluable, comprehensive source of instruction and inspiration for artists, designers and craftspeople of all kinds.

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Flexibound

Size: 21.0 x 14.3 cm

Extent: 480 pp

Illustrations: 900

Publication date: 10 December 2007

ISBN: 9780500286746

Contents List

Introduction • A Beginner’s Manual: Step Patterns • Key Patterns Early Celtic Spirals • Geometry of the Spiral • Irish Half Uncial Script How to Lay Out a Manuscript Page • How to Decorate Letters Knotwork: The Secret Method of the Scribes: The Three Grids King Solomon’s Knot • The Foundation Knot • Extending Knots – and the Josephine Knot • Building a Panel • Analysis of Plaitwork • Plaitwork to Practise • Division of a Square • Plaitwork Panel from the Book of Durrow • Spiral Knots • Spiral Knot Borders Illuminated Letters: Celtic Illumination, the Early Development • Major Initials from the Golden Age of Celtic Art • Decorated Alphabet • Decorated Ampersands Animal Alphabet • Animal Ampersands • Angular Capitals

About the Author

Aidan Meehan has been researching and practising Celtic knot design since discovering the triple-grid method of Celtic knot design in 1974. He is the author of the eight-volume Celtic Design series and Celtic Alphabets, Celtic Borders, The Book of Kells Painting Book, The Lindisfarne Painting Book and Celtic Knots, all published by Thames & Hudson.