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Tree-of-Life Cross

Posted by on August 26, 2016

I recently created a small carving of a Celtic Cross at the request of a friend. I had the end section left over from the board I used to create the Dragestil mantel carving, a particularly lovely piece of Spanish cedar, and it was the perfect size for this project.

This photograph shows the cross shape cut out from the wood, with the design penciled in.  This cross design features a design motif seen in the Book of Kells called Tree-of-Life, which involves a trefoil vine that emerges from trumpets that spiral around the center. The pencils in the picture provide a good sense of the small scale of this carving.
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Below is the carving in its completed stage, prior to the addition of the oil finish. Around the cross are a few of the carving tools I used to create this carving.

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This final photograph shows how the wood has darkened after the application of the oil and wax finish. It was photographed against the backdrop of a page from the Book of Kells, an evangelist cross-carpet page from folio 27 verso of the celebrated illuminated manuscript.

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The finished height of this carving is only 8 inches, so is smaller than the typical carvings I create. I am planning on creating another carving along this line at a larger scale, as I think this design will work in that larger format as well. I will post an update once I have the chance to work on it.

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