Friday, February 18, 2011

A Bit O' The Irish

I have been working on a celtic theme for years now, both in my fibre art, and more recently in my pottery. My love of the knots and spirals and zoomorphic critters has grown over the years, but really took hold in my first year of art school, when My Art History instructor first had us watch In The Name of the Rose and then took us all to see a fine facsimile of The Book Of Kells I was in awe of the intricate illustrations. this is one of my favourite pages from the book

After I saw this book I was hooked. I began to seek out all things Celtic. Back in 1992 that meant whatever I could find at my local library, which sadly was not much. In the ensuing years I have picked up quite a collection of books on celtic design, I have surfed the net and looked at beautiful carvings at New Grange, on gravestones, and warrior shields, and perused the virtual collections of many museums. I discovered other medieval Manuscripts, such as The Lindifarne Gospels, which I love.....its got some pretty cool images, just sayin. Now as much as I admire these beautifully painted images, it is the celtic stonework that really gets me all fired up..
 like this spirally goodness at Newgrange in Ireland.
And this beautiful two sided figure from Boa island in Northern Ireland

The stonework, and the metalwork really blow my mind, and inspire my work more than the painted images. It is the tactile nature, the feel of the knotwork, the smooth flow of the spirals that keep me going back to this beautiful, ancient design.
In my work, I use a lot of stamps to create the patterns. I carve all of them myself, many of the carvings are drawn from actual artifacts, carved in clay then cast in plaster to make a durable mold of the carving. Others, I carve in porcelain clay, and bisque fire.
This is a small selection of the stamps and sprig molds I use regularly in my celtic work.
and a finished celtic plate

The latest efforts are still in the design phase- two pedastal dishes, I am kind of groovin on these ones.....

For more celtic work, click on the Celtic Porcelain tab at the top of my blog.