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Image Collection: Sprial Designs

Spiral patterns are on of the earliest Celtic motifs used. As shown in [Meehan5], spirals have been used since Neolithic times! And, by the early Celtic period (500-350 BC), spirals are known as one of the identifying motifs of that style. Spirals continued to be popular, integrated with other artistic influences and motifs, through the entire Celtic period.

Clip art materials using spiral motifs are divided into the following categories:

Spiral-Based Borders

These images include both horizontal separator "lines" and vertical backgrounds with left-hand borders. Please click on the bordered thumbnails to see the full-size images.

Where possible, the components of the borders are provided. That is, the left edge, the center (middle) repeated section, and the right edge are provided as seperate files. These may be combined to make borders of any size desired.

1.

The following panels are based on a simple spiral border originally from Kells, found in [BainG] page 65, Plate 9.  Border 1.a is simply colored (and is used as the border for this page), while 1.b is rendered as "gold jewelry" and 1.c through 1.e use simple shades of gray.

a.
b. Left: Middle: Right:
c. Left: Middle: Right:
d. Left: Middle: Right:
e. Left: Middle: Right:

2.

The following panels are based on another border from Kells, found in [BainG] page 65, Plate 9.  Panel 2.a is "paint on parchment", while panels 2.b and 2.c use simple shades of gray.

a.
b. Left: Middle: Right:
c. Left: Middle: Right:

3.

The following panels are based on a third border, using two sets of interleaved spirals, originally from Kells. I also found this pattern in [BainG] page 65, Plate 10.  Both panels 3.a and 3.b use simple shades of gray.

a. Left: Middle: Right:
b. Left: Middle: Right:


Spiral-Based Tiles

1.

These are based on the spiral pattern found on the Aberlemno Stone--the same pattern as the center of Tile 3 in the Other/Combination Tiles page and the repeating version below.   I added a simple curved keywork pattern at the corners to fill in the blank spaces.   They are rendered simply using (a) light and (b) dark shades of gray.

a.  b. 

2.

These tiles are also based on the spiral pattern found in the center of the Aberlemno Stone--the same pattern as Tile 1 above.   [BainG] gives a hint as to how this pattern could be made repeating.  I followed the hint and got it to work pretty well.   (Though I must confess I got almost dizzy at times from trying to follow the repeating spirals :-)   2.a is rendered in a light rough texture, 2.b is simply colored light grey on white, 2.c is rendered as "carved stone", and 2.d and 2.e are shaded and colored to highlight the repeating spiral pattern.   Finally, Tile 2.f uses dark shades and 2.g is rendered in light "carved stone".   All except 2.a are low-contrast enough to be used as web backgrounds.   (2.c is my personal favorite, though!)

a.  b.  c.  d.  e.  f.  g. 

3.

These tiles are based on the repeating version of the Aberlemno Stone pattern, but use a lower number of spiral revolutions, allowing them to tile more compactly.   Tiles 3.a and 3.b use a "beaten gold" texture, while the others are all in shades of grey.   3.d and 3.g are low-contrast versions, and would work well as web page backgrounds.

a.  b.  c.  d.  e.  f.  g. 

4.

These spiral tiles are based on a pattern originally found on the Meigle Stone and a number of Pictish stones, according to [BainG] page 67, Plate 13.   They use a four-armed spiral, vice the three-armed version used on Tiles 1-3 above.   Tiles 4.a use a "beaten gold" texture, while the others are all in shades of grey.   4.c and 4.e are low-contrast versions, and would work well as web page backgrounds.

a.  b.  c.  d.  e. 

5.

These interconnecting spiral pattern tiles are based on a design used on the Tarbat Stone (Ross-Shire).   I found the pattern in [BainG] page 67, Plate 13.   They use two interlocking three-armed spirals.   All tiles of this type are presented in shades of grey.   5.d and 5.d are particularly low-contrast versions, and would work well as web page backgrounds.

a.  b.  c.  d. 

6.

These tiles are an original design, but are inspired by patterns using spirals of different radius, like those found on the Tarbat Stone and described in [BainG] page 67.   They are rendered in simple shades of grey (Tiles 6.a-6.3), in "gold wire" (Tiles 6.f) and in a sort of "gold filigree" (Tile 6.g).

a.  b.  c.  d.  e.  f.  g. 

7.

As in Tile 6 above, these backgrounds are based on an original spiral pattern, in this case combined with a traingular interlaced grid.   Tiles 7.a-7.d are all rendered in shades of gray, with 7.b and 7.d in a low-contrast form.   Tile 7.e is done in shades of blue, and 7.f rendered as "gold wire".

a.  b.  c.  d.  e.  f. 


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Most recent revision: 24 February 2014