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Book Review: Celtic Design: A Sourcebook With More Than 1500 Patterns and Motifs
(By Cynfyn ap Rhywallon as appeared in the November 1995 Bolt)

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Celtic Design: A Sourcebook With More Than 1500 Patterns and Motifs, by Iain Zaczek
ISBN: 0517121786

Every once in a while a book goes by that just begs to be reviewed. "Celtic Designs" is one of them. At a reasonable price (about $15) this large hardcover covers the gamut of Celtic art in a high contrast black and white format and runs a little under 200 pages long. It is organized by main type of art that each design might fall in; interlacing knotwork, spirals and circles, calligraphy, geometric designs, figurative designs, jewelry, artifacts and stonework. The documentation on each piece is sketchy at best, but the beauty of this book is not in the background information. The artwork is highly detailed and most seem to be pulled directly from period sources (again, poor documentation, but the bibliography in the back is excellent, so it is possible to hunt down more information on a specific piece).

"Celtic Design" would be an excellent source of design and inspiration for anyone doing illumination, free-form embroidery or any piece of Medieval art with a celtic influence. If you have any interest in this area, you must see this book.

Cynfyn ap Rhywallon

 Page last updated 12/15/99