If you’ve ever visited my humble stall and perchance listened to me waffle on you might have heard me mention that I felt the knot-work reflected the thread of life, or a sense of connectedness, and the incorporation of animals and plants into the designs reinforces this notion. My explanations evolved with my understanding, from an instinctive reasoning after years spent carving the motifs onto stone. Sometimes such ‘notions’ have been backed up by research.
|The famous Sutton Hoo burial buckle, 7th c. AD|
In twenty years of carving I've restricted my use of knot-work. This is due to a number of factors:
1: It’s complicated and time consuming to reproduce the type of work found in the likes of the Book of Kells, there is a lot of planning involved; laying out the design before any carving begins (although the knots I freehand onto pendants are simpler designs).
2: I feel that knots have become synonymous with Celtic art and this is not wholly true. The knot is a later development and not restricted or ‘culturally ‘owned’ by the tribes we nowadays term Celtic. If anything the knot was borrowed and later adapted from other cultures.
3; I prefer carving pre-christian imagery and seeing as most of it was actualised by monks knot work involves a lot of Christian imagery (I prefer the Bronze Age work artistically)
|Norse 'Mammen' Style artwork, 10th c. AD|
Indeed! Back to the Knots!
|Celtic interlace from Edinburgh Museum, 8th c AD|
|Islamic Knotwork from a 12th c. AD Koran|
|Celtic Christian Cross showing marriage of styles and mythological monsters.|
Romilly Allen - Celtic Art In Pagan And Christian Times
HR Ellis Davidson - Lost Beliefs Of Northern Europe
Migman - Intuition
* In Lost Beliefs of Northern Europe HR Ellis Davidson has Skuld as connected with debt, or something owed… as in life.