Knotwork is best known for its striking designs of interwoven lines. To varying degrees this artistic form has been used by nearly all cultures of Europe, the Middle, and Far East. As other peoples saw knotwork designs fade from their heritages the Celts embraced and explored them further. For many of us today the word knotwork is synonymous with the twisting zoo-morphs, complicated woven backgrounds, and braided borders of the Celtic tradition.

The bold over and under construction of these designs, often with only a single ribbon making up the entire pattern, seem to imply a sense of journeys and cycles. Through all of its turns and crossings the end of the path is only the beginning.

The beast forms, or zoo-morphs, when used in groups with threads binding one to another seem to suggest an interconnectedness between all life, even creatures at battle. When they appear singly these figures, contorted with the effort of grasping themselves, remind us of our own internal struggles for self-mastery, personal understanding, and enlightenment.

Though we have no way of knowing if these ideals were intentionally expressed by the knot's creators there can be no doubt as to our own powerful responses to them. Whether or not they carried any deeper hidden meanings these patterns cannot be dismissed as merely busy decorative treatments. It is certain that the people who painstakingly wrought their knotted designs in stone, painted them in miniature in the illuminated borders of manuscripts, or fashioned them in the metal of their jewelry and armor were willing to make a huge personal investment of skill, labor, and time. That effort alone is sufficient evidence of the value and importance they placed on this art form.

For more information click on any image or title.

New! New! New!
If you like these designs you'll want to visit the Enchanted Glyph Art Gifts Store page where we are offering some of Ben's beautiful full color bird zoomorphic designs on coffee mugs and other fun gift items. Start your day the knotwork way!


Copyright 2002 Ben Crenshaw (all rghts reserved)
Enchanted Glyph 7025 Hickman Cemetery Rd Fairlawn VA 24141 || PH: 540.731.0005