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Introduction and Background

I'm Reed Mihaloew (known in the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) as Rolin Thurmundsson, and available through e-mail at "[last name] [at] mitre [dot] org").   I've been interested in Celtic-style art since the late 70's, having been introduced to it through the SCA.

My original work was all done by hand, but I started to experiment with computer drawn work in the early 80's; originally on a Mac.   My current computer environment is described in Tools and Techniques below.  I originally experimented with "drawing" type packages (e.g., MacDraw) trying to achieve the best control over the lines and bands in the knotwork.  I had some success, but found that some things were better done in a "painting" type program (e.g., PaintShop Pro).   I have since used some drawing programs (e.g, MS Visio) to construct some initial spiral designs; the resulting images are all still finished off using PSP.

My original aim was to generate Celtic page templates that I could trace with a light table and fill in by hand using manual calligraphic and painting techniques.  Indeed, that is still what I sometimes do.   As I was working on a piece, trying to get a colored version of the computer image in order to better visualize the finished product (see the (81KB) file aoa9p1.jpg for an example), I was struck by how nice the computer version appeared.  Subsequently I discovered a tiled background that looked a bit like vellum (see the basic page background for an example, and thanks to Valkyrie for the better version currently used).   Using this technique seemed to provide a better prediction of the finished product to be done on parchment paper or vellum.  Finally, while trying to find a tiled Celtic-style background for my PC window I looked at many of the examples on the Web and thought, "...I could do better than that!"  Not true, as the examples on these pages show :-) but I enjoyed building them nevertheless.  They have taught me a lot about the design and concepts behind some of the beautiful original works.

Despite the name of this page, I make no claims to "artistry" in these works--just that I like them.  I've been particularly fascinated with the ability of the computer to simulate (as seen in the following examples, all 24-bit JPG files) the effects of writing and drawing on parchment, of carving in stone and wood (including a simuulated wooden box cover), and even giving the effect of jewelry.

Tools and Techniques

All the images on these pages were generated using Paint Shop Pro (versions 3 through 8 -- see for information).  I made use of several "tricks" found in the old (now extinct, alas) Cheap Tricks for Paint Shop Pro 4.12 site and have used some of the plug-in modules located at the PC Resources for Photoshop - Plug-Ins web site, also no longer available.  As mentioned above, I have also used MS Visio to "sketch out" some of the original spiral shapes, then finished them using PSP.  All images on this site were constructed, not scanned, with the exception of a modified scanned image used to make the zoomorphic C and A in the Celtic Art header at the top of the page.  

My current Dell laptop PC uses a 2.2GHz P4 processor, 512MB RAM, and a NEC 19" LCD monitor used in tandem with the laptop display... (All specs subject to change without notice :-)


I consider myself heavily indebted to a number of talented people.  These include the real artists, both the original scribes and those modern authors who allowed me insight into how these wonderful images were created.  The Knotwork Class Bibliography lists these authors and their works.

In addition, I'd like to mention Bev Roden (known as Mistress Alexis MacAlister of Beverlay in the SCA) who asked me to give a class covering beginning Celtic knotwork construction (Introduction to Celtic Knotwork) during Pennsic War XXII (the week of 20 August 1993).  The Pennsic class notes formed the basis for the Knotwork Construction Class found in these pages.

Technical Note

The header font used in these pages is "Kells". A TTF version of this font is available for download here.  Install this into your Fonts directory and re-start your browser to see the headers in a Celtic- style font...

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Copyright © 1997-2007, A. Reed Mihaloew
Mail to: [last name] [at] mitre [dot] org
Most recent revision: 27 December 2006