Thoughts About Celtic Calligraphy
Celtic calligraphy is a unique way to express Celtic history and poetry within ancient Celtic designs. This distinctive form of writing is a practice of merging calligraphy and Celtic symbolism to make a whole new and unique form of art.
How Avia Got Started With Celtic Calligraphy
My mom was a masterful calligrapher. She taught me the art when I was a kid. I’m forever grateful. I kept up with the writing skill, and even created a few twists, making my own spin on symbolic Celtic calligraphy
Not only did I learn a skill, but the practice of Celtic calligraphy forced my mind to slow down, I had to be present in the moment, I had no choice but to be captured by the essence of every stroke.
What’s very interesting about calligraphy is that it is NOT a fluid practice. Oh no. One simple letter, like the letter A takes four pen strokes. Don’t even get me started on the letter Q (6 strokes).
My point is that the intense focus and concentration on each letter to create a whole…it pulled me into the moment. There is no way to excel at the art unless you are fully in the present moment…as Tolle would say..in The Now. I think ancient Celts and Druids would appreciate this meditative approach. In fact, I can attest to channeling some of my ancestors as I practice the unique art of Celtic calligraphy.
At any rate, I love technology. I love my keyboard. But sometimes the ‘Old School’ way of expression in writing is the key to returning back to my roots, back to myself.
Returning to tradition, or the ‘old ways’ through Celtic calligraphy is a powerful way to reconnect with the rhythm of life, Nature and self. I invite you to try it for yourself!
Tips to Creating Your Own Celtic Calligraphy Designs
The process of making this distinctive art form is relatively simple. All you need is some paper, a design, a quote or poem and a pen. You don’t really even need a calligraphy pen (although it’s required if you wanted those thick vs thin lines in each letter & the overall calligraphic effect). Chisel-tipped markers work, or even 2 pens taped together will work. Click here for more tips about creative calligraphy techniques. Here are some quick steps to creating your own Celtic calligraphy designs.
- Choose a Celtic symbol (or organic shape/design)
- Choose a passage of poetry, a meaningful quote, or an original writing
- Sketch or trace the symbol on paper or medium of choice
- Write your poem or quote (in the calligraphic font) along the outline of the symbol, shape, or design
The most important step to creating your Celtic calligraphy is have fun with it! It doesn’t have to be perfect. The practice of calligraphy (IMHO) is meant to be unifying, meditative and enjoyable! As it is a symbolic practice, it’s also meant to be revealing. Something magical happens when we connect our creativity with the mind, the eye and the hands…(aka: writing calligraphy). As mentioned, the art of this “old-school” style of writing can be soulful and incredibly cathartic.
About Written History and the Celts
Throughout time, the Celts honored their heritage and traditions by telling stories. Regrettably, very little of their culture was recorded in writing. The ancient Romans, Greeks observed a lot about the Celts and their way of life and recorded their observations. This is how we know much about the Celts.
We also know about them through the calligraphy scribed by ancient scholars and devotees of the new Christian era. These students and priests were given the charge of recording historical/cultural data about the Celts. This is how the Book of Kells came into existence. While its contents are largely Christian, ancient monks, inspired by Celtic artwork, borrowed their style to create the divine text. Within that book are some of the most incredible Celtic calligraphy examples & artwork in existence.
About Celtic Calligraphy and the Book of Kells
As a calligrapher, I love the Book of Kells. It inspired me to create these Celtic symbol calligraphy pieces seen on this page. It also inspired the Irish and Scottish monks of the 6th-9th centuries, AD. Interestingly, the Book of Kells was inspired by the ancient Celts and druids, but its contents are Christian-based, including the four Biblical gospels from the new testament.
There are theories the Celtic motifs and styled writing was meant to entice the Celts to convert from Nature-based spirituality and follow the Christian path. Religion aside, there is no doubt the Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript that results in a striking and remarkable marriage of symbolism and beauty.
I hope these ideas and tips about Celtic calligraphy inspire you to create your own artful writing designs! As always, thanks for reading.
Sending you super-scribed-blessings,
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