Sunday, 17 June 2012

Earth - Four Elements mini

I've finished the mystery present - I'm still not going to say anything else about that, in case the recipient reads it - and can now start on something I can talk about.  This is also going to be given away, but at least this time it's not a secret!

Quite a while ago, I did a series of pictures based on the four elements - earth, water, fire and air.  There's a lot you can do with these concepts, and I'm interested in making a series of 'mini' pieces - little roundels, about 10 cm (4") in diameter.  I'm going to go back to the techniques and stitches I've used the longest in my work, but more of that in future posts.  First, the design.

I'm starting with 'Earth', and am interpreting that with Celtic knotwork.  I need a small knot, and one that fits into a circle.  While I prefer to draw than design on computer, I do resize things using a graphics package, so I'm not too concerned with the size my initial drawing ends up.

I want to end up with something organic looking, but Celtic knotwork need to be quite carefully worked out or it can look a mess.  Fortunately, I'm never happier than when designing with a compass and protractor!

I marked out a series of concentric circles, divided into six equal sections:

And voilà!

This messy tangle took ages and several attempts, but it is, believe it or not, based on the circular grid above and will become a proper Celtic knot.

It looks a bit more like it with additional lines drawn on either side of the initial one:

Then the points where the lines cross over rubbed out, to give the under-over effect of one continuous line:

Then the outline is inked in:

And the pencil construction lines rubbed out, giving the final design:

I can now scan this, and shrink it to the proper size for the piece.


  1. It's fascinating to see the design emerge from the tangle of lines!

  2. You are a wonderful designer !

  3. You are thinking happy circle thoughts, aren't you! (My comment in the last post) :-)