Thursday, June 18, 2009

Celtic Knotwork Border

This project shows you how to achieve the ribbon-like interlacing so typical of Celtic knotwork, which forms the basis of the designs in this blog. The simple but impressive border adds the perfect finishing touch to a room and, by using a variety of finishes, you can achieve a highly individual look.

Celtic knotwork, which appears on stone crosses of the sixth century AD and onwards, and in the intricate pattern-filling designs of the eight-century iiluminated manuscripts, can be made up of one, two or more interlacing bands. Some people believe that there is no symbolism attached to the different types of knotwork, and it is probable that meaning has been conferred in more recent times. It is easy to see, however, why other people believe that the unbroken bands of the knotwork represent a sacred path through life, with no beginning or end, an eternal journey of spiritual growth.

This project may look daunting but, because the design is worked in small manageable sections, it is not difficult to make. The main skill required is patience, and in my experience you wouldn't be a woodworker if you did not already possess this trait.

Once the sections are complete, they join to make a continuous border, as shown, which can be cut to fit corners. Alternatively, if you want to use the border to decorate small pieces of furniture, cupboards or boxes, simply reduce the design to the size required.


-Several photocopies of template, enlarged by 125%

-Pine strip wood, 6 x 68mm (1/4 x 2 3/4in) x length required
-Repositionable spray adhesive
-Double-sided sticky tape
-Paint, varnish or wax finish, as required


-Scrollsaw, electric jigsaw or hand fretsaw
-Drill fitted with small bit
-12mm (1/2in) straight chisel
-Craft knife or chip knife

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