Celtic Knotwork Online

A design tool for Celtic Knotwork Patterns

Loading Knotwork Engine...

You'll need to enable javascript to do anything interesting on this page, as it's a design tool written in javascript.

Instructions

A Knotwork pattern is drawn on a grid of cells, and composed of "cords" that cross over each other to make the pattern.

Breaklines control the patten by constraining the cords - cords cannot cross a breakline.

Red and Blue breaklines can only touch other breaklines of the same colour.

Click and drag in the main grid to create new breaklines, or overdraw existing ones to remove them.

Double-click on a cell to remove it from the pattern.

Adjust the width, height and scale of the grid using the controls.

The style control determines what the cords look like. In some styles, like the default Rainbow style, each cord is a different colour.

Hide the grid to see the pattern you've created, hide the overlay to stop interacting with it.

You can store interesting patterns to your browser and fetch them later. Or save the pattern to an SVG file on your hard drive using the Download To SVG button

Celtic Knotwork

Knotwork is an ancient method of decorating objects. You can read the wikipedia article here.

It is commonly referred to as "Celtic" knotwork despite being used by most North European cultures during the first millenium.

Particularly strong examples come from areas of the British Isles with both Gaelic and Viking influences, such as the Isle of Man, Dublin, northern Scotland and the Scottish Islands.

As these cultures converted to Christianity they continued using knotwork designs, and many fine examples of knotwork in stonework, scriptures, and metalwork survive.

Probably the finest example of the style from the period is the Book of Kells.

The method of construction is very precise and mathematical, and a number of books have been written about how to construct knotwork patterns.
This website uses a method derived from the work of George Bain and his son Iain.

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