Monday, 8 September 2014

bod's exuberant Hound

Hand sculpted copper & oak Celtic dog wall plaque

A wee article about the inspirations & ideas behind bod's popular hand sculpted metal & oak Hound.

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. It is possible that some of these designs may have evolved from our ancestors relationship and closeness to nature, the spiral being one of her favourite and recurring themes. What is beyond dispute is their strange beauty and their seeming ability to call on long asleep parts of ourselves.

Cup and Ring markings, Weetwood Moor,
Northumberland Via Wikipedia: Creative Commons

Long may the enigma remain.

The Iron Age 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.

This language of knotwork and zoomorphic design saw further expression and development in Anglo-Saxon and Viking Artwork, so, even though remaining distinct, it is still possible to trace common roots back to an unremembered past. 

When Christianity was established in what is now the Britain Isles, the Celtic Monks wove their own versions of these amazing art forms into their beautiful, illuminated manuscripts, some of which still survive today.

Enter the Hound.....

Hand carved celtic Hound by bod
Visit our Just Wood Collection of hand carved pieces by bod.

The design is inspired by a detail in 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.

In the Book of Kells, three Hounds chase each other in a perpetual circle, tails entwined in mouths. I loved the design, but preferred the idea of one Hound running free, so adapted him a little and added a Celtic Triskele for him to jump over.

Fresh from the Justbod kennels.... a new 'pale and interesting' Hound. Hand-burnt Celtic / Anglo-Saxon-inspired design on a sycamore plaque.

So called because the Justbod team had become so used to me creating dark oak plaques, that this pale, white, sycamore plaque came as a bit of a shock when I first created another of my pieces, Guardian, on it. It quickly became dubbed as 'pale and interesting,' and the name stuck! 

Celtic Hound pyrography plaque
Visit our 'Pale & Interesting Collection

As I write this Hound is available from our website in a hand carved version, a sculpted silver and copper metal version and the new 'pale and interesting' version, which has been hand-burnt onto a sycamore plaque.

Handcrafted celtic metal and oak Hound by bod
Visit our Creatures Collection of hand worked metal

I hope you like Hound and his exuberant nature.

Thanks for reading!


~ Justbod ~

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

You might also be interested in:

  Ancient bog oak & a Dark Guardian


The Celtic Tree of Life: 'Crann Bethadh'


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