Celtic Knotwork Borders in Repeating Sections book by Bradley W. Schenck
Celtic Knotwork Clip Art Book

When I began to get the idea of designing a volume of patterns myself I had to wonder why on Earth one more book ought to exist. It didn't seem to be enough to offer a series of designs that were original and unique, although these are; the field's simply too wide for that alone to matter. I think I found the answer when I thought about what all those books were, and how they address what an artist needs and wants.

As I see it, books of Celtic knotwork designs fall into two types.

The first type, like George Bain's venerable Celtic Art: the Methods of Construction, is a collection of traditional patterns that have been deconstructed into a system that the artist can use to recreate them by plotting them on a grid, on a series of dots, or with some other device that may or may not be similar to methods used by scribes and artists during the Middle Ages. Books like these are valuable tools for anyone who wants to understand how the patterns work, and wants to either build them up from scratch or understand how new patterns can be created.

The second type of Celtic knotwork reference is nothing more than a clip art collection - often line drawings based on period art, sometimes reprints of work that's fallen into the public domain. These designs can include repeating borders, but those are most often presented as complete borders that you're expected to copy as they are. This offers very little control over the size or shape of the border itself.

Each of those two books addresses a need. But neither one corresponds, exactly, to the way I work myself.

As I kept thinking about what a book like this one might be good for, I tried to come up with a presentation for the designs that would work, as much as possible, the way I do.

Celtic Knot Circle Design

The second edition of my popular knotwork pattern book is a soft-cover version with all of the same designs and variations as the original, spiral-bound edition... and at a lower cost.

Now available for $13.95.

Celtic Knotwork Borders in Repeating Sections is a collection of original Celtic knotwork border designs presented in a way that's meant to allow artists the freedom to create knotwork borders in virtually any size, and practically any shape, that they want.

The book uses a modular system in which a border design is reduced to either two or five straight sections, plus a variety of arc sections with different numbers of repeats around a full circle.

Celtic Knotwork Borders in Repeating Sections

These sections are meant to be rotated as needed to form square, rectangular, or circular borders to use in your work.

Celtic Knotwork Circle Border

Not only are there straight and corner sections for each pattern, but every one of them also includes circle sections in several numbers of repeats around a full circle.

Half of the designs also feature "inner border" variations. These are designed to branch inward from the main borders with T sections, and the inner borders can cross in the middle of the border with the provided crosspieces.


The book's approach is based on the author's experience of more than 35 years, and it's intended to teach you to think about repeating patterns in a way that'll improve your own work - the idea is that the mechanical task of laying out a border should be streamlined, leaving you free to concentrate on the much more creative work of painting, carving, or dyeing it.

The text includes ideas on how to scale the patterns - they're printed here in many sizes, but it's inevitable that you'll want more - and that and other information is given for both digital and traditional artists.

When you buy the book, the designs are free for unlimited use within your own projects, both private and commercial. The only restriction on these rights is that you may not reproduce the pattern parts themselves, outside of your original art, for redistribution.

That is, you can use the designs in any way you like for your own work. You're completely free to sell that work, or reproductions of that work. You just aren't allowed to make a clip art collection out of them, or otherwise reproduce the pattern sections alone in a form that others can use.

Celtic Knotwork Borders in Repeating Sections is available from these merchants: