Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Celtic Knotwork

One of the many random hobbies I took up in grad school was drawing Celtic knotwork.



(I was reminded of this recently by Sideon's stained glass adventures.)

I used to joke around with my friends that this is the perfect hobby for me because it's Celtic and it's not work.

Hehe!! I'm such a jokemeister!!!

Maybe if I'd spent more time in grad school doing math rather than joke-smithing, learning French, and otherwise goofing off I'd be a Mathematician today rather than a code monkey... Ah, well, no sense worrying about it now...

Actually Celtic knotwork is naturally interesting to Mathematicians because there's something of a mathematical component to the knots.



At the time I picked up a book by a Mathematician giving an algorithm for how to draw Celtic knotwork based on mathematical principles:



I wasn't terribly pleased with the results I obtained with this algorithm. They were Mathematically correct but not aesthetically correct in that they tended to fill the space in a rather even and random manner.

So I went back to my earlier technique of just winging it...

10 comments:

Rebecca said...

Okay -- Celtic and not work -- you would SO get along with my dad. :) I love that you did grad work in math and are now a code monkey. People who can do math are sort of demi-heroes to me. Not my strength, but I find it fascinating (as long as I don't have to DO it -- then I just find it frustrating).

Cynthia E. Bagley said...

Love this.. and yes it is art :-)

I do not draw.. I have no feel for it. I have a small feel for math. BUT... I am really impressed with those math wizards (like my hubby.)

C.L. Hanson said...

Thanks!!!

Going into nerd-mode for a minute here, I'd like to show off one "tangle" I'm particuarly proud of: chanson's knot.

This is a knot tangle I invented that has the following amusing property: Imagine the whole thing is made out of rubber bands. Then cut any one of the bands at any point. All of the rest of them will become completely untangled from each other!!!!

If you look closely and use some imagination, you can kind of see that it works.

For a long time I had a dream of writing a serious research paper saying something about tangles that have this property, but I never really succeeded in coming up with any sort of invariants or theorems about them. Just a few interesting examples...

However, if some other mathematician wants to build on this an write a joint paper with me, I'd be happy to do so!!! :D

Especially if you have an Erdos number. I'm so jealous of my husband that he has such a low Erdos number (something like 3 or 4...), so it would be cool for me if my Erdos number were something finite instead of infinity... ;-)

Cynthia E. Bagley said...

Wow... :-) Nope... not good.. can't help you. So what is an Erdos number? not eros??? ;-)

Cynthia E. Bagley said...

umm... since I have never collaborated with a mathmetician of any kind... or collaborated with anyone... I think that I do not have an erdos number. ;-)

But I am in the Who's Who of the World. LOL so would that count???

C.L. Hanson said...

;^)

That's pretty cool, but somehow it's not the same...

Cynthia E. Bagley said...

Shucks!!

Tom C said...

I'm so impressed that you can do those Celtic knots - they look to me like something I'd never be able to figure out at all. They're very popular for tattoos now you know. Maybe you could create celtic tatt designs and sell them.

Sideon said...

I almost got a celtic knot tattoo.

Almost.

The closest I'd come to now would be an image from the Ravenswood winery, which they "borrowed" from early pagan symbols.

Check out the ravens in the upper left, here.

C.L. Hanson said...

Thanks Tom!!! That's a good idea...

The raven symbol is cool too -- thanks Sideon!!! :D