Celtic Knotwork: the ultimate tutorial

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If you feel like it, drop me a line or two, whether through the web interface or as an online comment. Thanks. Christian Mercat

11 Forum messages

  • Excellent tutorial 3 January 2007 18:01, by B. Watson

    Hi Christian,

    I just wanted to commend you on your excellent online knot work tutorial. I’ve been struggling with Iain Bain’s book on Celtic Knot work, and it’s been a maddening process. Your method is exceptionally clear, and beautifully presented. I teach technical writing, and it’s such a pleasure to read, and use, something as well-written as your tutorial.


    B. Watson

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  • Aloha 3 January 2007 18:02, by Dae Thea

    Aloha from the Big Island of Hawaii,
    Thank-you (mahalo) for your wonderful tutorial on Celtic Knots. Now I know about their creation and can build more authentic shapes into my art. I also discovered where some of my inclinations towards patterning and math come from - my genes.

    Please feel free to connect if you are ever coming to the islands.
    Peace and Blessings, Gwenette

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  • Too fast 3 January 2007 18:24, by Tom

    I am just writing to say I always wanted to learn
    Celtic knots and your website helped a lot. Just one
    suggestion: if possible, slow down the speed of the
    images. It’s a little hard to read and then see the
    example that’s being presented! Other than that,


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    • Too fast 4 January 2007 15:59, by Christian Mercat

      Yes, I agree, the gif were done a long time ago (around 10 years, dinosaur times in electronic era terms) when computers were slower. I need some (more) time to work on them, obviously 10 years is not enough ;-) . If you do have some time, please work on it and send me the result, I will post them in replacement.

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  • Great job! 3 January 2007 18:27, by J. Fields

    Hello! I just wanted to let you know I think your Celtic knot website is wonderful. It made the difficult job of teaching complex design to middle school students much easier.

    I taught a Celtic knot unit in conjunction with geometry concepts in my 8th grade art classes. Your tutorial was a HUGE help to students who were struggling. We went through several of your exercises as practice before moving on to larger designs and it made the steps ‘click’ for many of my students! Using those simple steps and guides made the large final design project less daunting for the students.

    I would like to present a unit on knot design at the fall art educators’ conference in my area. May I include your tutorial and give out your website address in my presentation?

    Thanks for creating this great tool!!!!

    J. Fields

    Art Department

    Bridger Middle School

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    • Presentation 4 January 2007 16:17, by Christian Mercat

      I would like to present a unit on knot design at the fall art educators’ conference in my area. May I include your tutorial and give out your website address in my presentation?

      You can actually download and use a slideshow here, it contains a cultural introduction, then some math that you can skip at first, then the basics, and exercises that I beam on a white board. I xerox the pdf page of exercises to distribute. I advise not to do it directly on the page but to copy by freehand the graph on a white sheet with a pencil that you won’t erase, and to use a second colour for the threads, one that you can erase.

      Depending on the public, I can go up to encapsulation or be stuck with the trefoil for an hour.

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  • From India 3 January 2007 18:31, by Radha H. S.


    I have noticed the Nagamandalas for many years in temples: never thought of
    drawing them myself! After your tutorial, I have tried my hand at drawing

    In case I write a small piece on Celtic knots/nagamandalas for children, may
    I write about the method from your website giving you credit for the method?
    Would that be alright? I would of course show you the piece before
    submitting it.

    I will be submitting to children’s print magazines. I normally send in my
    submissions to a few magazines in India, USA and Australia (very rarely
    simultaneous). Acceptance is at their discretion and turnaround time is a
    few months for each magazine. I would mention the method as yours in the
    article and give your website as a reference to my submission. Would that be


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    • No problem 4 January 2007 15:57, by Christian Mercat

      You can read the FAQ where it states that you are indeed authorized to use the material on this site. Especially if you rewrite something yourself.

      (excerpt from private discussion with Radha)

      In India we make patterns called “rangolis” in front of our homes and temples: from simple elaborate ones. These are mostly symmetric. The temple walls and some stones dedicated to the snake god have Nagamandalas very similar to celtic knots, but the snake head and tail tip are in the same space but not necessarily continuous.

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  • Thanks for the website 3 January 2007 18:35, by M. Buehr

    Hello Christian,

    I can’t resist writing to thank you for your brilliant website on Celtic knots. I’ve been working on drawing knots for some time and have looked at a lot of websites about the subject but yours is far and away the best, as it is both sophisticated and easy to follow.

    It also is very useful to those of us who want to design original knotwork - most sites give you examples to copy, but don’t show you how to apply the rules to your own ideas. I can see that it will also be helpful in drawing tessellations, which is another hobby of mine.

    Thanks for taking the time to make your ideas available to all of us

    Kind regards M. B.

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  • Guest book 21 January 2009 08:47, by Dan

    Is there a particular technique to make an "endless" knot?

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    • Endless knot 21 January 2009 10:16, by Christian

      Dear Dan,

      Well, I don’t understand exactly, are you talking about frises that you can repeat? It suffices then to take a periodic tiling.

      If you are talking about a knot without a beginning and an end, well, it’s the contrary: the easiest technique is to make it that way. If you insist on having loose ends, then you have to work more, see entanglements.

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Monday 21 August 2006, by Christian Mercat

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