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Heidi (Denmark)

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Contemporary Celtic Motifs
Contemporary Celtic Motifs
by Alex Sherman
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Cornucopia of Inspiration, 17 Sept. 2011
I can't recommend this book enough for artsy, crafty people, no matter what their medium is, and just anyone interested in design, ornament, and pattern, tattoo artists, lovers of Celtic artwork, as well as parents whose kids are showing interest in drawing and colouring.
You will not find step-by-step lessons in constructing knots (there are other excellent books for that), or how-to's for specific projects. Instead you get a book of pure, wildgrowing inspiration to get your own creative juices flowing. The designs can be used as they are (printed from the CD) or you can use them as spring boards for your own creations. I look forward to spending many hours of tracing the designs, tweaking, elaborating, and combining them into new things.
Some designs are symmetrical and rhythmic, others are asymmetrical and free-flowing. It's a large and generous selection showing you the endless possibilities for variation of knotwork. It takes you a step beyond most traditional Celtic knotwork and into free-hand territory.
All the designs are hand drawn, not computer generated. Small imperfections are present in some designs but personally I don't mind. Some are black on white, others white on black.
The last section of the book contains basic outlines of 16 shapes ("templates")such as the Vesica Pisces, crescent moon, various circles etc. that you can print and start experimenting with your own fill-out patterns without having to sweat over compasses and rulers or earning a degree in geometry first (much appreciated!), plus a few thoughts from the author about some of the designs and how they evolved. A nice touch to end the book with.
I hope Alex Sherman will publish a follow up to this one someday.

Sacred Celebrations : A Sourcebook
Sacred Celebrations : A Sourcebook
by Glennie Kindred
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Great source of information and hands-on creativity, 13 Aug. 2011
I bought this book because I wanted information about the Celtic Wheel of the Year, and was pleasantly surprised to get not only a great introduction to that, but also a book that gets my creative juices flowing and makes me want to go outdoors and experience the land at all seasons.
The beginning of the book explains the basics of the Wheel of the Year and the eight Celtic festivals, the five elements and their correspondences, the phases of the Moon, the Celtic Otherworld and Underworld, creating ceremony, etc. Then it goes on to a more in depth exploration of each of the eight festivals of the year which each gets four segments: Introduction, Underlying energy, Preparations, and Celebrations. You can do as many or as few of the suggested activities as you like, alone, in a group, or with children. Maybe just meditate on the keywords and soak up the mood of the season from them.
Additional info on herbs, trees, symbols, and traditions is added throughout the book as well as the authour's own illustrations.
It is a great book for beginners interested in Celtic and Earth-centrered celebrations as well as a trusty reference book for continued explorations. The format is handy, too, fits well in your hand or bag.
If you liked her booklet "The Earth's Cycle of Celebrations" and want a more fleshed-out and in depth version of it, this is the book to get.
It balances the spritual, the practical, the creative, and the informative in an easy-to-follow way. "The Old Ways" for the 21st century.

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