Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Durrow Cross: a hand-burnt Celtic Knotwork design by bod

Durrow Cross hand burnt celtic knotwork design

One of a range of hand-burnt wall plaques, the Durrow Cross, is a Celtic knot work cross design, adapted from a detail in the Book of Durrow, a medieval  illuminated manuscript gospel book in the 'insular art' style that was probably created between 650 and 700AD.

It is not known for certain where this beautiful hand created manuscript was created, perhaps Durrow Abbey itself, in Ireland, or possibly Lindesfarne monastery or Iona Abbey. It is known as the Book of Durrow, as it is known to have been at Durrow Abbey by 916, and is now held at Trinity College, Dublin.

It is the oldest surviving complete illuminated insular gospel book, predating the Book of Kells by over a century.

My 'Durrow Cross' has been adapted from a central motif in one of the 'carpet' pages. Carpet pages are a feature of the insular illuminated manuscripts, being pages of mainly geometrical ornamentation, and are typically placed at the beginning of each of the four Gospels in Gospel books. 'Carpet pages' describe those pages in Christian, Islamic or Jewish illuminated manuscripts that contain little or no text and which are filled entirely with decorative motifs.

Book of Durrow, MS 57 fol.85v Carpet page preceding St. Mark's Gospel
Carpet Page, Book of Durrow. (See sources)

'Durrow Cross' has been hand-burnt onto birch wood, mounted into a 16 cm oak frame, and finally polished with wax. Every stage of each process has been done by me, by hand.

Durrow Cross hand burnt celtic knotwork design

Durrow Cross hand burnt celtic knotwork design

It is currently available as one of several designs in 
our 'Dark and Light' range of hand burnt plaques.

Thanks for reading!


Justbod Team

Hand burnt celtic, viking and anglo saxon designs
Three of the plaques from our Dark and Light range

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