Celtic La Tene tattoo by sacred knot

Maxime’s La Tène Forearm

I had a lot of fun this week tattooing Maxime once again. We first worked together before on his right sleeve inspired by the Oseberg designs of the Viking age. For this visit, we worked on some La Tène fuelled by our shared Celtic heritage.

This is the style I’ve found the most complicated and difficult to master over the years. In a way, the rule system behind the curves, shapes and balance are so simple and elegant, like in the #llyncerrigbachplaque1 and #desboroughmirror1, but making my own freehand designs in tattooing has been the most difficult challenge of all the styles I work with.

To me, the late Iron Age celtic art is like the culture that created it… mysterious and captivating. I’ve mentioned before the symbolic importance in these shapes. Creatures are hidden so cleverly within them and after studying countless artefacts from this time I’ve begun to recognise them. If you look closely, reoccurring patterns mark the anatomy of these birds, dragons and masks. In my eyes, the beauty of these designs have not lost their power since there where first practiced over 2000 years ago. It’s such a pleasure to tattoo these crazy pieces along side the Nordic inspired work I love so much. So if any fellow Celtic art lovers out there also want to be covered in Iron Age Celtic La Tène Swirly Boys, bring it on!

I’ll also add that birds where probably massively important to the Celts (as in most ancient cultures). Mostly for their ability to fly with the gods with a grace we can still to this day only dream of.