Friday, 4 April 2014


Celtic knotwork wall art

I have always loved what is often referred to as Celtic Artwork, but in fact covers a long period of history. I imagine the roots of the art form are in the spirals and cup and ring markings left behind on the rocks and monuments by our Neolithic and Bronze Age ancestors. Many speculations have been made as to their meanings, but we don’t know. What is beyond dispute is their strange beauty and their seeming ability to call on long asleep parts of ourselves.

Long may the enigma remain.

The Iron Age tribes, sometimes referred to as Celts, developed these spirals into an intricate art that expressed their wild and childlike souls, and covered their bodies and possessions, often in amazingly intricate and skilful detail.

Entrance to Newgrange, Co Meath

This language of knotwork and zoomorphic design saw further expression in Anglo-Saxon and Viking artwork, so, even though remaining distinct, it is still possible to trace common roots back to an unremembered past.
The beautifully illustrated Book Of Kells
- part of folio 114v.
When Christianity was established in Britain, the Celtic Monks wove their own versions of these amazing art forms into their beautifully illuminated manuscripts.
Enter the Guardian.

The design is taken from the Book of Kells, also known as the Book Of Columba which was created about 800 CE. It is currently on permanent display at Trinity College Library, Dublin, Ireland. Trinity College has also made a digital version of the entire book available to view online.

Guardian hand sculpted Celtic wall plaque
The very first prototype

Why named Guardian? Blame the Justbod team – I don’t know who started it, but (s)he was named early on, and the name seemed to stick. Protective, solid, dependable, loyal and strong – yes, it fits.

This was the first design where I tried to stretch techniques with metal that I first experimented with years ago, when I was making didgeridoos, to a new level. I have been more than pleased with the results. 

I hope you like the Guardian, in any one of his various guises, and whether (s)he becomes a gift for another or a gift for yourself, remember her inherent qualities. 

(S)he’ll always watch over you.


Thanks for reading!

Guardian Celtic wood carving
Hand carved Guardian in our 'Just Wood' Collection

Hand burnt / pyrographed Guardian Celtic wall plaque
Hand burnt Guardian in our 'Pale & Interesting' Collection

Artwork, carvings and sculptures by bod
~ inspired by history and nature ~

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Hand burnt Celtic plaques

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