Bain is WONDERFUL!! But … I found the mathematical
explanations in the Aidan Meehan books, specifically “Celtic
Design: Knotwork: The Secret Method of the Scribes”, i.e. the
mathematical and philosophical basis of the methods used. IMHO,
Meehan’s explanations are simpler, but much more complete, if
such a thing is possible! In addition to “Knotwork”, there are
several in the “Celtic Design:” series: “A beginner’s Manual”,
“Spiral Patterns”, “The Dragon and the Griffin”, “Maze
Patterns”, “Illuminated Letters”, and “The Tree of Life”. All
are published by Thames and Hudson. Any good bookstore should
be able to order them, or at least get you the ISBN on them.
There is also a “Celtic Design” home page at:
This should describe the books, and give the ISBN as well.
For a historical perspective, try “Celtic Art” by Ruth and
Vincent Megaw, also published by Thames and Hudson, 1989, New
York, NY, ISBN 0-500-27585-8. The 1996 paperback edition is
about thirty bucks, but well worth it.
Thanks for letting me put in my two-cents’-worth!
PS – An earlier version of this may have been posted
accidentally. My pardons, if it was.