Monday, December 8, 2008

Cross and Crown

On the trip to Ireland several years ago, my friends and I visited the Rock of Cashel. There's an ancient celtic style cross there, with the characteristic circular pattern around the arms of the cross.

It's a high cross, a traditional latin cross with a circle enclosing the arms and uprights of the cross.

For more history about the origin and meaning of the celtic cross images check out the exhibit
with many examples.

When I travel, I take photographs but I also do quick sketches and watercolor washed pages in a small drawing book. A page from my sketchbook has this simple line drawing of another ornate celtic cross.

Many crosses of this type are markers, historical monuments. Others I've seen in cemetaries are markers and memorials of people and families.

In 2005, a celtic cross monument was erected in honor of the irish immigrants to Saint Louis, Missouri, where I currently live. Saint Louis is a very old town, with many historical areas and stories from the original settling of the western part of this country.

Another benefit of the large Irish population in Saint Louis is the many excellent Irish pubs in the area!

I recently made three little pendants in the spirit of the ancient crosses. There are several styles, this one is the celtic cross with four circles, one surrounding each of the upright and cross arms. I'm doing some research on this configuration, to see if it has a special meaning or interpretation. Later I'll show the crown and some of the other crosses I created as replicas of artifacts.

It looks very timeworn and ancient, with great details. It has an opening from top to bottom, for wire or cord to pass through.

It would be great worn as jewelry, or used as a decoration. It reminds me of the worn and ancient celtic crosses standing out in the open on the hills in Ireland.

Or on the open prairie in the midwest, in downtown Saint Louis, Missouri.


EmandaJ said...

Hi Lynn,

I love the celtic cross bead! I haven't see the Irish crosses, but there are some really amazing Scottish ones. Do a Google search for "Ruthwell Cross" and you will learn about this incredible Anlo-Saxon Cross that now stands in a hole in the middle of this remote border church. Also on the "Holy Isle" of Iona, there are two beautiful examples.

I can see your bead as the cross for my Anglican Rosary Bracelets. Divine!


Cindy Gimbrone said...

Hi Lynn,

Buffalo NY has a large Irish immigrant population too - my husband's maternal grandfather being one of them! :-) I'm thinking you might find another illustration of an Irish cross in the book of Kells(?) spelling?

Thank you for sharing your sketchbook. You're smart to carry it along with you. I'm sure it's full of wonderful watercolors!

Love the green of the land around the cross - beautiful!


LLYYNN said...

I've been to Scotland, too - loved both of them and want to go back. Thanks for the references, I'll look those up!

When I was in Dublin I went to the Trinity College Library with friends and saw the Book of Kells - it's amazing!