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Sacred Geometry

53 52 a CeLtiC SPiraL and how to tighten up your curves The design shown opposite comes from a four inch bronze disc found on Loughan Island in Northern Ireland. It is an exceptionally beautiful example of the early Celtic style. As we have already seen with stone circles and arches, the seamless conjunction of multiple arcs can be highly aesthetic and it perhaps reached its perfection in the early Celtic period. Many early Celtic pieces show evidence of compasses and the final drawing for this disc requires 42 separate compasspoint positions It is thought that the master artists who created these designs started with a basic geometric template, such as a touching circles pattern, then sketched their forms before returning to geometry to tighten everything up so that their curves all became perfect arcs, sections of circles. In this way intuition and intellect worked together. The lower sequence of pictures shows how to plot arcs through points. The first diagram shows an arc centred on c. We want the arc to effortlessly change at a and then pass through b. What do we do We draw the line between a and b and find its perpendicular bisector centre diagram by opening the compasses and describing two equal arcs from a and b and drawing the line through their intersections. This cuts the ac line at a new point o which then becomes the centre we were looking for right diagram. All of the curves in the Loughan Island disc are drawn in this way. The idea that circles or arcs of circles are the only truly heavenly curves finds its way into many philosophies of sacred art. The technique above may be used in any application to refine a curvy sketch or design and give it that elusive magical quality.
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