Ben Crenshaw, a professional graphic designer for nearly 25 years, has always been intrigued by Celtic knotwork. Knotwork motifs have been created by diverse cultures the world over. Simple patterns based on ropes, braids and nets evolved into one of the first forms of decorative art. The Celtic tradition saw knotwork elevated to its highest level. Plaited borders, spiraling backgrounds, and twisting zoo-morphs are the hallmarks of the Celtic style. Its over-and-under intricacies, flowing in ways simultaneously organic and logical, resonate with Benís personal aesthetic sense. In the textures created by relationships between a knotís positive and negative space he has seen the potential for creating designs of layered depth; on first glance representational, on closer inspection an explosion of pattern and ornament, within which reside forms both figurative and decorative. The whole having the effect of repeatedly drawing viewers in then pushing them back up again. Ben Crenshaw Studios is more than an outlet for one manís personal creativity; it is dedicated to the ever-expanding audience of this richly vibrant art form.

Classically trained in all the traditional methods of fine art and illustration Ben uses a pencil and paper to rough out preliminary knot concepts and to work through the challenges occasionally presented by his designs. As solutions emerge that begin to satisfy him he redraws them in ink. These pencil and ink sketches of knotted joints and twisted creatures are scattered throughout his home.

Just as important as Benís skill with pencil, pen, and brush, are his abilities with the tools and technology available to artists today. Demanding a high degree of precision from himself and his designs Ben has developed a flair for using the computer as a drawing instrument. After his knots are worked out on paper their next renderings are done on the computer. Ben uses vector-based software to redraw and fully develop his knotted designs. It is a hands-on process that is often painstakingly slow.

Though the Mega-Birds is Benís current obsession it is not the only avenue by which he shares his talents with the world.

BC Designs is Ben Crenshawís freelance design business offering creative and artistic skills for a number of applications. His talents include: graphic design, logos, illustration, and animation. Projects range from printed promotional materials and packaging to web sites and digital presentation.

The Enchanted Glyph is where Ben Crenshaw and Janet Thatcher create fine handcrafted jewelry inspired by history and mythology. Benís original Celtic knotwork designs are available here as wearable art in sterling silver, bronze, and 14k gold.


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