Creative Knotwork

We make use of knotwork a great deal in our designs as you’d expect, starting with our ultimate classic Celtic Knot design (design number 001, Rhiannon’s very first piece and still going strong!).

Knotwork was a feature of early Eastern art and symbolism, consisting of interwoven continuous lines, usually in symmetrical geometric patterns. It was later adopted and adapted by the European Celtic and Nordic cultures. It appealed particularly to the Celtic peoples, who believed in eternal cycles of life and complex interconnections within the natural world. With the coming of Christianity to Britain and Ireland, the druidic centres of learning gradually gave way to Christian monastic settlements who, inspired by the complexity and potential of knotwork patterns as symbols of the eternal and interwoven cycles of God’s creation, combined them with an already strong visual tradition of their own, and developed a new, creative style of knotwork, incorporating human, bird and animal figures, and the threefold symmetry of the Celtic Triskele. A few of our designs, such as Deryn, Rhigyfarch and the Talyllyn Triskele are actual representations of such ancient works. They did so with such flair and success that they produced exquisitely illustrated religious manuscripts, stone carvings and metalwork, establishing an artistic style that became world famous and was unique to the British Isles. As a result, knotwork is now often labelled "Celtic”, and “Celtic Art” is often considered synonymous with knotwork!

 As the inheritors of the breadth of the Celtic art tradition across the millennia we like to take advantage of all it has to offer, not just its basic forms. This is as true of our knotwork pieces as our more contemporary work. Importantly the gaps in the knotwork are integral to the design structure – this and the fluidity and curvilinear style of the knotwork are very distinctively Celtic in style but fused into modern interpretations of this living artistic tradition.

Our Seagulls and Manannan’s Horses designs incorporate the bird and animal figures in flowing curves of knotwork that represent waves on the sea. Rhiannon is not only a fine representation of a strong and determined woman from our legends, but one where birds and the female figure herself are entwined within a knotwork pattern that illustrates her goddess-like nature and the magical hidden birds that accompany her.

Few things better illustrate the living nature of Celtic art than our use of heart motifs within the knotwork – this is modern iconography but we often fold or hide a heart in our designs, from early designs like the Curlews to the simple, yet beautiful, Rhiannon Welsh Gold Llanddwyn design.