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CELTIC-L  October 1992

CELTIC-L October 1992

Subject:

Re: Celtic Art books

From:

Devlyn Syde <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

CELTIC-L - The Celtic Culture List.

Date:

Fri, 23 Oct 92 02:04:41 MST

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (90 lines)

On Fri, 23 Oct 92 08:05:26 BST <[log in to unmask]> said:
>>"Celtic Art, the Methods of Construction" by George Bain, also a Dover
>>publication, catalogue available from
 
 <TEXT DELETED>
 
>  There has been a new series of books coming out over the last year or so,
>which now number about 5 in total, all nicely detailed guidelines and
>techniques for Celtic art, from calligraphy to animal designs, spirals and
>fretwork.
>  The author is named something like Aidan Meehan.  This is just off the
>top
>of my head, sorry I can't be more specific.
 
     I have _Celtic Design:Knotwork, The Secret Method of the Scribes_
by Aidan Meehan.  It appears to be the first in the series.  According to
the frontispiece,
 
     "Aidan Meehan studied Celtic art in Ireland and Scotland and has
     spent the last two decades playing a leading role in the
     renaissance of the authentic tradition.  He has given workshops,
     demonstrations and lectures in Europe and the USA, and more
     recently the Pacific North West from his home base in
     Vancouver, B.C., Canada."
 
     It is clearer than the Bain book on techniques for re-construction.
I'm not certain to what degree it can be called "authentic" but, I'm not
certain what can in this case.  It seems to drag the methods out a bit
more than necessary.  This is apparently to allow him to publish several
books instead of just one ...
 
     Meehan does miss one of the more basic (and simpler) techniques
for interlacing with which I am familiar.  His methods are limited to
relatively simple interlacing and a few spiral knots.  He provides an
appendix of triangular knots but, offers no clues as to how to construct
them.  He does actually spell out some of the mathematics of knotwork,
which is nice.
 
     I've seen several other books in the series; one on zoomorphics,
one on letter forms, and one on keypatterns.  I almost bought the one
on keypatterns but, decided the first one was barely worth the $14.95
cover price for so little novel information.  The other books looked
more like pictoral archives with no real "technique" beyond "draw what
you see here."  I also recall one on spirals that took more space to
explain a very basic technique than I thought possible.
 
     I recommend the knotwork and, I suppose, the keypattern books
for beginner and novice knotwork engineers.
 
>  The Bain book is a good reference book and design catalog, but in terms
>of actual "techniques for reconstruction" it stinks.
 
     Not exactly the way I would phrase it but, same general feeling.
Still, this one remains my favorite to date.  It is quite comprehensive
(especially compared to the Meehan books) and you get it all for $6 from
Dover (instead of $15 per chapter with Meehan.)
 
     For the most part, the techniques of construction are certainly
NOT the traditional techniqes.  Many involve ruled grids or lines
through the center of the cords that could never have been hidden in
the designs were it not for the wonders of erasable graphite ...
Some of these, however, appear to be crucial for some of the more
complex designs.
 
>  The Boston Museum has an excellent poster on techniques for creating
>Celtic art.  Maybe someone there can give more details...
 
     I haven't seen this.  I only get the Met catalog.  I would love
to see the poster if anyone can provide the address or a phone number.
 
     Other books of possible interest:
 
         Spinhoven, Co. _Celtic Stencil Designs_. Dover (1990)
          ISBN 0-486-26427-0
 
         Davis, Courtney. _Celtic Iron-On Transfer Patterns_. Dover (1989)
          ISBM 0-486-26059-3
          (Don't laugh!  Some interesting designs.)
 
     I also have a small pile of personal monographs by various
individuals and articles from magazines and newsletters so obscure,
I probably have the only extant copies ... <GRIN>
 
                                  -Andrew Crawford
                                  <AHACC@ASUACAD>
                                  <[log in to unmask]>
 
                                  <ASACC@ASUACAD>
                                  <[log in to unmask]>

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