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Old 05-11-2006, 03:02 PM
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TessDB TessDB is offline
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Celtic Knots 101 - Running Borders

The wait is over! here's the tutorial:

When designing a border for a knotwork piece, there are a couple of things you need to decide from the very beginning.
#1) What is itís purpose? Is it to add a sense of order to an otherwise chaotic piece (like the Cead Mile Failte Iím working on)? Or is this your last ditch attempt to direct the viewerís eye? Or is it simply to add some intricacy to a simple piece (like with a fairly simple bit of calligraphy)?
#2) How important is it to make it all one line? To me, this is the holy grail of knotwork. In every piece I have to decide whatís more important, the overall composition or making it one band of interlace? As a general rule, composition wins out. But that doesnít mean I donít make myself crazy trying to get both.
#3) Where do you want the emphasis? The center? The corners? Or balanced so the eye isnít pulled to one thing or the other?

So what Iíll be showing is what I think of as running borders. The difference between a running border & a knotwork border (like what I showed in the previous thread) is pretty small. The main thing being that each basic unit that is repeated canít stand on itís own very well.

So here are some examples of very simple running borders:



Notice that as you add bands, you also increase the width. In this image, Iíve marked where the repeats are. Notice that you need as many curves for a full repeat unit as you have bands (bringing the band of your first curve back up & ready to curve again). Now, when doing a simple plait/braid/twist border, you donít need to worry about fitting full repeats into the space youíre trying to fill (unless youíre shooting for the ďholy grailĒ which is a tutorial in and of itself).



Corners, when you arenít working a separate knot for emphasis, come in two varieties. Spade & split spade (close kin to the pretzel knot, btw.) To keep the spaces between your bands consistent, corners come with some special space considerations. A spade corner = *half* of one of the curves. In this scale, it needs 1 square. A split-spade needs the *same* amount of space as one of your curves.



You also need to consider what the types of corners do to your pattern. A spade corner allows all of the bands to pass through and on to the next side. A split-spade joins two bands & only allows however many you have left to pass through (in this example, 2 bands.)

But what if you donít want a corner? What if you just need a column/bar? These are some of the most common ways to end a running border:



Ok, just a little bit more to show you before we get going on the first design.
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Old 05-11-2006, 03:10 PM
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TessDB TessDB is offline
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Re: Celtic Knots 101 - Running Borders

Iím going to show you George Bainís method for doing interlace, slightly modified (his book, ďCeltic Art-- the Methods of ConstructionĒ is really really useful if you donít have it already). I hardly use this method anymore Ďcause itís a bit fussy. But it *is* an excellent way to start and to train your eye/hand. So hereís a step by step of how to do a basic 4-band plait, using a center line for a guide. Think of the center line as the bones of your design. Youíll draw the edges of the bands equally spaced on either side of it. Once youíve got the edges drawn in, erase the center line and there ya go!

#1: Use where the lines from the graph paper cross to guide the center line. Weíll draw the curves in first. In this scale, draw the curve across two boxes to create the top & bottom curves, leaving 2 rows of boxes between them. For my demo, Iím only doing 4, but do as many as you want to get comfortable with it.



#2: Draw in your bars, connecting the curves with an ďXĒ



#3: Start drawing in the edges of the bands, stopping & starting at the graph paper lines before you reach the ďoverĒ of the ďX.Ē how you stop & start the curves will create the ďunderĒ portions.



#4: Draw in the ďoverĒ parts of the ďXĒ.



#5: Erase your center lines & do any clean-up.



Thatís it. Itíll take practice, but this demo should give you lots of it!

Now, letís do a spade corner using the same method. If you want to start where you left off on the previous bit of practice, thatís just fine.

#1: draw in 4 curves across the top. Mirror with only *two* on the bottom. Now draw in 4 going down the next side, with the topmost one crossing the last curve across the top. Mirror the last 2 curves on the inside.



#2: Draw in straight lines, connecting the curves. Erase the parts of the corner that donít connect to a straight part (the antennae looking bits).



#3: Just like before, draw in the edges of the curves.



#4: Now do the over parts of the ďXĒ.



#5: Erase the center line & clean up.



Iíll show how to do a split-spade a bit later. Itís a little trickier because the center line becomes one of the outside band linesÖ Anyway.

Ready for the first design? Here we go!
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Old 05-11-2006, 03:33 PM
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Re: Celtic Knots 101 - Running Borders

Remember the questions from the first post, about what purpose the border is going to serve? For this first design, Iím going to make a few executive decisions. #1: Weíre adding intricacy to something simple, but donít want to overpower it. #2 composition rules! If it becomes one band itís a happy accident. #3 No emphasis required.

This design is based on a 4-strand plait, divided into a twist. Hereís the step by step. This small section is your unit that will repeat (itís not a true repeat unit. To take one band completely through requires 4 1/2"). Feel free to do as many as you want to get comfortable with it.



Ready to apply what Iíve shown you? Lets work it into a 5x7 frame.

#1 Start by marking out your working space, I like to mark inches & the center. In this scale, you need 2Ē for a repeat unit, 1Ē thick.



#2 Start drawing in the bones of your pattern. Because of the space needed for repeats, Iíll center the basic unit at the midpoint on the top and bottom of our frame. And because I donít want to put too much emphasis on the midpoints, Iíll let the unit repeat twice on the sides, balanced on the midpoints.



#3 Now do a spade corner. Iíve done each one as a progression in the example so you can see how it comes together.



#4 Just like I showed in the previous steps, draw in the edges for your bands.



#5 Erase & clean-up & thatís it!



Just for giggles, here it is with color so you can see how many bands. Sigh.



So now you have a really nice little border frame with an opening of 3x5. Hopefully, Iíve been clear enough that you can see how to expand it to make a larger frame. Iíll come up with some more ďbonesĒ you can use as a template in a bit. Stay tuned.

Any questions? Letís see how you do!

Tess
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Old 05-11-2006, 05:13 PM
Flurkiele Flurkiele is offline
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Re: Celtic Knots 101 - Running Borders

I enjoyed this very much and I think I'll take a stab at it later. You have a ver interesting method of making the knot path. BTW- I've never used graph-paper, should I?

Finally, is there an easy way to make it one continuous line? George Bain said that in a panel the number of horizontal and vertical intersections should have no common factor (i.e 4x3 9x13 15x67,) but I don't think that would work for a border... Anyway, it's just as pretty with many lines as one.

Once again, pretty knots and I enjoyed the various ending treatments. I also liked the technicolor worms.
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Old 05-12-2006, 08:14 AM
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Re: Celtic Knots 101 - Running Borders

Glad you enjoyed it, Flurkiele! Technicolor worms...

About graph paper: you don't need to use it, but it is helpful. Especially when you want to create something that's fairly uniform in it's shape/line. I don't use it very often in drafting my own. I tend to like knotwork that's a bit more organic looking. BUT, when starting out, graph paper can save you lots of frustration. And help you avoid the "tangled spaghetti" thing.

About making it into one line... Bain's rules about working with panels is essentially correct. He just said it the hard way. Think of your curves, instead (ignore the corners, 'cause they always come in pairs). An even & odd number of curves on the outside edge will give you 1 band (like 2 & 3). As will an odd number on all 4 sides, as long as it isn't the *same* odd number (like 3 & 5). Working with a border has some different rules. And if this particular design will do it... I'm not sure. let me play with it (I *think* it will, with some minor modifications).

Tess
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Old 05-12-2006, 09:41 AM
Merry Scribe Merry Scribe is offline
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Re: Celtic Knots 101 - Running Borders

YAY Master you have kept your promise forgive me for being so impatient. I am but a young student of the Master and don't know the was of the celtic knotwork world as of yet. But I will promise you that I will make you proud of me.

Young Grass Hopper.
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Old 05-12-2006, 05:53 PM
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Re: Celtic Knots 101 - Running Borders

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merry Scribe
I am but a young student of the Master and don't know the was of the celtic knotwork world as of yet.

oooooKaayyyyy... no more kung fu movies for you!

Bear with me-- I've got more to add to this, but my internet connection has slowwwwwwwed tooo a crawwwwwlllllll. Aaaaargh! It's almost *painful* trying to upload anything. grumble grumble.


Tess
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Old 05-12-2006, 09:23 PM
Flurkiele Flurkiele is offline
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Re: Celtic Knots 101 - Running Borders

Here's my work. Okay, so it's not exactally the same pattern, but it is a four-cord braid, so I thought it should fit. The long bars on the bottom were to fix some ackward endings. I didn't control my cord thickness as well as Tess, but that's the pen's fault.



PS- part of why it looks weird is that I took the picture at an odd angle.

Last edited by Flurkiele : 05-12-2006 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 05-12-2006, 10:07 PM
Flurkiele Flurkiele is offline
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Re: Celtic Knots 101 - Running Borders

Here is the finished and fully colored version in "more or less" complementary colors. (The complement of blue is orange, not yellow-orange) It looks much better in color, IMHO, and also I took more care in photographing it. What do you think?

I really like this method of border-work and I think I'm going to stick with it. However, I was completely stumped by the double spade corners, so please cover that next!!



Notice it is actually three pieces. (Tiny blue peice w/ shorter bar at the bottom) I was reluctant to add a third color to my design, so I colored it blue to offset the large yellow bar.

Now, what to put in the center??

Last edited by Flurkiele : 05-12-2006 at 10:12 PM.
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Old 05-12-2006, 11:51 PM
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Re: Celtic Knots 101 - Running Borders

Tess! Another amazing tutorial!! I'll have to try these boarders as well.

Brian, We have our work cut out for us.

Flurkiele, Great first shot! Now that you've use the graph paper, you should be up to creating your own grid!!

- Chris
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Old 05-13-2006, 03:25 AM
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Jakeally Jakeally is offline
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Re: Celtic Knots 101 - Running Borders

Wonderful tutorial Tess. Many thanks for doing this for us.
I have made both your tutorials into stickies so that they stay at the top of the forum and will be easy for everyone to find.
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Old 05-13-2006, 07:40 AM
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TessDB TessDB is offline
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Re: Celtic Knots 101 - Running Borders

Flurkiele-- Great job! And I love seeing a variation of the pattern. Do you see where it went odd (leading to the bars) & do you think you could do it without them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flurkiele
I really like this method of border-work and I think I'm going to stick with it. However, I was completely stumped by the double spade corners, so please cover that next!!

Yep, braids & split-spades if (mighty big if) my internet connection isn't dog slow.

Chris (CPM Chris)-- Thanks! Let's see you combine a running border & the knotwork borders... You know you can do it!

Stickies? lil' ol' me? Thanks, Chris! Jakeally-Chris. Oy, too many "Chris" people... By the way.... haven't seen one from you yet.

Tess
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Old 05-13-2006, 10:00 AM
Flurkiele Flurkiele is offline
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Re: Celtic Knots 101 - Running Borders

I can see it went odd but how?? I'm guessing that my vertical curves should have been added upon by one curve, or elso a curve should have been taken away, to make the vertical sides even-numbered. *Checks* Yes, 15 curves... must count them next time...
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Old 05-13-2006, 10:26 AM
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Re: Celtic Knots 101 - Running Borders

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flurkiele
I can see it went odd but how?? I'm guessing that my vertical curves should have been added upon by one curve, or elso a curve should have been taken away, to make the vertical sides even-numbered. *Checks* Yes, 15 curves... must count them next time...

Good girl!

And here's how I worked the pattern into one band:



The trick is to make it double back on itself asymetrically. Because when dealing with an even number of bands, symmetry is NOT your friend. If I were to use a pattern like this in a piece, I'd make that happen so it's a bit more hidden in the corners. But this works for the demo. And doesn't look all that bad, really.

Tess
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Old 05-13-2006, 10:31 AM
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Re: Celtic Knots 101 - Running Borders

My connection seems to be zippy, so here's the next part!

Braids are one of my favorites to work with. First off, Iíve got a thing about threes. Second, so very very easy to make it into one band. Unlike the four-band plait, which has a natural inclination to stay four bands or become two.

So hereís the step by step of a braid. Notice that the curves on the bottom *do not* mirror the curves along the top. Theyíre offset by 1, straddling the juncture of the curves along the top. And once again, do as many as you want to feel comfortable. Unlike the four-band plait, a braid doesnít really have any bars. Itís just overlapping curves.



Now, on to the split-spade corner. Those of you who did the triangles & pretzel project have already worked with these. The only difference is that the other side of the pretzel is at the other end of your border. Hereís the top portion of the corner.



Now draw the same thing going down the side. Notice the corner actually shares a line. Usually, thatís a no-no. But in this case itís ok.



Add in your bars.



Now for the fun part. Because the split-spade shares a guideline, youíre going to have to just eyeball it, using that center line as the outside line of the bands. Also keep in mind that youíre dealing with two bands right next to each other when youíre doing your over/under pattern. I recommend starting at the corner & establishing the over/under. If Iím going to goof up on the weaving, this is where it usually goes wrong for me.



Continue drawing in your bands.



And as usual, erase & clean-up. And thatís it.



Ready to work it into a frame? Here we go!
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