Andrew Hennessey © 2017.

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A New Twist on Tartan for the 21st Century


After visiting one of the many tourist shops in central Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital in October of 2007, Andrew noted that Scottish giftware appeared to be resting on its tried and tested laurels with books on Haggis, scenic calendars, stuffed Loch Ness Monster toys and basic plastic toys that looked vaguely unfinished. Far Eastern imports with some token tartan wrapped around them didn’t give the impression that Scotland had anything new to offer. Scottish Andrew’s Startan is a new step forward into the 21st Century of tartan designs.

Scottish Andrew’s modernist revision of tartan is called ‘Startan’.  

Startan is made from the combination of the colour proportions (Setts) of a traditional tartan within limitlessly interacting geometric shapes.

Scottish Startan gifts connect us with the spirit of Scottish innovation.  

Startan is a revolutionary design for the ancient clan colours that has never before (in any previous millennia) been done.

The bold colours, shapes and symmetries of the Startan Sett charge the psyche with constructive influences.

Perhaps Startan and its colours can focus the psyche to synthesise grand designs in the tradition of Scottish inventors !

In various spiritual traditions, mandalas may be employed for focusing the attention of aspirants, and also as a spiritual teaching tool and aid to meditation.

A Startan mandala is a generic term for any Startan design; Scythian, Blacksmith, Cross or Rigg that represents the Scottish psyche metaphysically or symbolically, a microcosm of Scotland from an enlightened geometric perspective.

Suppose that from a central point for example in a; circular, triangular, hexagonal, stellate or other geometric design, regular or irregular; the colourful threads of the traditional tartan colour ratios or  Sett could radiate as if the rays of the sun to merge and interweave and overlap with other rays from other bursts of colourful starlight at irregular angles. Asymmetric blocks of bold colour make possible the most complex of constructions.

While perceptions of colour are somewhat subjective, there are some colour effects that have universal meaning. Colours in the red area of the colour spectrum are known as warm colours and include red, orange and yellow. Depending on the context, these warm colours evoke emotions ranging from feelings of warmth to happiness and joy.   Colours on the blue side of the spectrum are known as cool colours and include blue, purple and green. Depending on our use, these colours are often described as calm, spiritual or introspective.

Traditionally the Scottish psyche is about persistence against the odds and bold colourful and positive Startan designs serve to focus the mind on engineering victory. Startan gifts are from the 21st Century world of Scottish innovation.

Giving Startan mandalas is an invitation to engage the recipient with the spirit of Scottish invention.

Startan was invented on the 10th of October, 2007AD by Andrew
Hennessey of  Edinburgh and builds on the tradition in Scottish Arts for the use of bold colour and design.