celtic crossDLTK's Crafts for Kids
What Is Celtic Art?

Celtic Art is made up of beautiful geometric shapes.  It has its origins in the sculpture, carving and metalwork of the ancient Celtic peoples.  Classical Celtic art is very much a product of the growth of Christianity in early Britain and Ireland when the native styles combined with Mediterranean influences brought in by Christian missionaries.

Three of the Major Design Elements of Celtic Art

Celtic spiralsCeltic Spirals

Spirals are one of the oldest design elements in Celtic art and are believed to represent the life-force.  Very typical of Celtic spirals is the three-pronged spiral or triskele and many more elaborate spirals are based on this fundamental pattern. The number three was of deep significance in Pagan Celtic religion.  This worked well for early monks like Saint Patrick in Ireland who tied the already special number three into teachings about the Trinity.

Celtic knotThe Knotwork

Christian manuscripts were a major source of inspiration for this artform. Typical features of Celtic knotworks are the use of rounded edges and attempting to make the knotwork one continuous line.

Celtic key patternsKey Patterns

These have been described as spirals in a straight line. Key patterns are also found in Mediterranean art.  Celtic key patterns use the 45 degree angle so that the pattern is made up of triangle shapes.