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Creating interlace

Object number: ROMGH.1998.29

Type: Poster

Material: Crayon, Paper, Pencil

Width: 53.7cm | Height: 83.8cm

Production date: 1920 - 1945

 Yes you can     No you cannot
Use the same Celtic patterns in your art and craft work Yes
Use this design for commercial purposes without the permission of the Copyright holder No
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The use of a single, continuous line or strand in Pictish interlace and knotwork was of great interest to George Bain. He saw it as symbolic of Eternity. Bain was keen to stress this by showing the main methods used to achieve it.

In this poster he shows how interlace can be drawn with equal or unequal numbers of edge ‘turns’. Equal numbers produce a specific size of panel or border. Bain shows this in his drawing of part of a mosaic at Chedworth Roman villa, in England. It has 5 turns along both short edges. An unequal number of turns makes an infinite length of panel or border interlace. Bain draws this next to the Chedworth panel. The top edge has 6 turns but the bottom only has 5.

Bain used reference books to study interlaced panels and borders on Roman mosaics in England and abroad. Roman mosaics were designed long before Pictish use of the design. It is not clear from this drawing if the example of a mistake at Itchen Abbas refers to the original pavement. Perhaps the error is in the drawing of it in the Quennell book that he references. In any event in his own re-drawing Bain resolves the mistake.

Author: Alastair Morton

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