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on 10 November 1999
If you are interested in the construction of Celtic Art then this is the definitive book. It was the first book to allow the masses a sight into how the art of the Celts was done and it's still the best. This book will teach you how to draw knotwork, spirals, key patterns and more. If I can do it then so can you. Another review says that the copying of patterns is questionable as Art but that was never the intention of this book, it was made to inspire the reader to attempt to create new designs rather than just copy the old.
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on 7 September 1999
This classic work shows in easy steps how to recreate the various constructions associated Celtic Art - whether knots, spirals, or lettering. In some areas George Bain also shows how the same constructions are used elsewhere in the world. The basic components of, sometimes complex, devices are shown and easy, step-by-step "methods of construction" are provided. This enables the reader to build up complex patterns with no previous artistic or celtic art knowledge. Some reviews question whether the building of knotwork patterns in this mechanistic way is really "art": whilst this may be valid, there is no doubt that this book enables anyone to build impressive and highly attractive borders and patterns in the Celtic style. A must for anyone interested in understanding or building their own Celtic artwork.
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on 24 January 2007
This is undoubtedly the master work on this glorious artform of the celts, picts, norse & la tene cultures.

George Bain's book is profusely illustrated with pages and pages of his technical and artistic work, as he tried to derive the rules of construction from the standing stones and ancient books. And what a great job he did.

This is undoubtedly one of the finest books I have ever seen period, and is a treasured part of my personal library. If in doubt, buy it.

On a general note, if you are a beginner this may be somewhat overwhelming in detail, and it may be best to buy this along with one of the more step-by-step beginners guides.
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on 1 May 2010
My decision to buy this book came off the back of a renewed interest in calligraphy, spurred by the purchase of Tom Gourdie's seminal work 'Italic Handwriting - a simple modern style (Studio)' from a church bookstall for 50p. After a lot of work on the handwriting, I was away to the library where I got out every book they had on handwriting. I guess I'm that sort of person. This led to the discovery of the magnificent decorated scripts in the Book of Kells, and it was a short step from there to buying this book.

It is, for a non-artist like myself, the most difficult and frustrating work, but the beauty of the book is that it leaves you to work out how to do things. It was produced for school art classes. After all there is tracing paper if you really can't get to grips with the designs, which are as beautiful as they are complex. The most remarkable thing about the patterns is not only the antiquity, but the scale. Into 5/8ths of an inch square, the writers of the the book of Keels squeezed as many lines as yellow and red ones in a London parking scheme. Still, as Captain Mainwaring once famously said. "I was on Orkney. The nights were long, the men were hard. There was little else to do."

If you lke Celtic designs, you'll love this book. It it written and illustrated with the kind of passion that keeps art alive.
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on 10 March 2013
A treasure of unsurpassed excellence, both in research and execution. And once again, it is an "artist observer" who exposes academia for what it really is: a cabal of pompous small minded reductionist fools, who suffer from the decrepit disease of knowing everything better, when in fact they knowing nothing at all. What we have lost. What we have lost...
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on 9 March 2015
This book puts all others to shame. Exceeds Dover publications entire content in just a few pages. Judging from first few pages there is more densely-packed detailed information there than would be found in an entire glossy colour photo craft book too.
Black and white diagrams look hand drawn, with maybe 20 variations for each 'recipe' of knot per packed page. Formed on a dotted grid, the knots begin with a spine of crossover lines and are padded outwards by an easy to follow number shorthand. Complexity increases logically, but with a sequence of work to follow, look easily achievable. The print is clear but small, so I expect to enlarge pages I will be working from.
My used copy is too musty for more than a quick look before treatment, but I'm glad I found a copy at all.
For graphic design, quilting, stained glass, jewellery making or just doodling, if you have a pencil, you can generate intricate knotwork without tears from this book.
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on 22 March 2014
I bought this for my daughter as a present. She had this book many years ago but lent it to someone and never got it back. The book is new and was very reasonably priced. I would recommend this seller to anyone.
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on 26 April 2015
I had to return this Kindle book for a refund. This book is an old format book so it suffers from the grey, grainy Kindle graphic problem. It is not possible to see the designs. I need a step by step instruction on how to make the shapes. I don't think that even if I had bought the print book I could have followed the method as it is. The steps are done in lines building up the repeats until the finished designs are apparent. I have seen ways in which the designs are made from dots, grids and circles which are much easier to follow. This may be a classic, I can't gainsay the words of other reviewers because I am not proficient enough but from my point of view, this book is for someone who has a good grasp of calligraphy. For someone like me who wants to incorporate the designs into art work it is too specialist. Oneplus point of this book it has a really comprehensive explanation of history and symbolism. I would have kept it for that alone if I could have afforded to.
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on 20 February 2011
It would be hard, if not impossible, to include any more insight or coverage in a book of 160 pages. this book covers everything from start to finish, it sets out basic knot work to the more elaborate panels. If you are serious and interested in celtic design and the construction methods then this book is well worth the money. The book does not delve into the mystic meanings or too much history because its purpose is to visually show the methods of construction and it does so superbly. I am very pleased with this book and wont grow out of it quickly.
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on 6 January 2014
I bought this book too many years ago to admit, but it's a real gem. I've looked at various books on celtic knotworking & construction over the years & nothing's come remotely close. If you're interested in the subject & constructing your own designs I can't recognise this book highly enough.
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