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Celtic Crosses

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Ancient symbolism of a mystic understanding of Christianity

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While most of the famous Celtic Crosses in Ireland, Scottland, and Wales were carved by Christians, there is some evidence that Celts carved and engraved circles with crosses before Christianity came to them. Was it the symbol for the sun or eternity? Was it a cross to represent the four seasons? Nobody really knows because after Christianity any previous means are overshadowed. My thought is that the world was being prepared for the coming of Christ, our True God. I love the Celtic Cross. It speaks to something deep in my DNA, my genetics. The center of this design is one woven cord with no beginning and no end. The panels too have the weave of no begining, no end.

Christianity flourished among the Celts. The adopted it into their identity. Until 1054 AD, all Christians were united. The tragedy of the Great Schism separated the Roman Catholic West and the Orthodox East, yet I've read that in remote Irish monasteries they still commemorated the name of the Patriarch of Constantinopolis 100 years after the schism. Atheism and countless hundreds of new schisms formed and fractured the West. Much of the Orthodox East fell under the yolk of the Ottoman empire. One thousand years of peace for Christians came to an end. Amazingly, you'll still find Celtic crosses in Orthodox churches to this day.

To this day, you'll hear the prayer for the unity of the faith in every Orthodox church. Not only for all present day Christians to be united, but for all Christians from all ages to be united in faith.

I carved this Celtic cross out of cherry wood by hand. I have made and sold dozens of these. They are a unique challenge to carve because you must be very careful with grain. One bad move, and the cross is ruined and usually cannot be repaired. How to do it? Well, start with a good pattern. Trace the Celtic cross and all the lines of the weave. Photocopy that tracing and make the lines dark. There are two methods to put the pattern on paper. 1) use spray adhesive to glue it to the wood, or brush on wood glue thinned with a little water, or even better 2) use an iron on the highest setting to transfer the pattern to the wood. Use a laser copier or a photo copier and make sure it is fresh. You can actually transfer, or iron on, the design, but it will be reversed. A way to fix this is to make the photocopy reversed, so the transfer comes out right. This can be done easily with a transparency.

 
If I am making one of something, I use the first method and carve through the paper. After carving, I use sandpaper to remove what little is left of the pattern. If I am making many of one thing, I will take time to make the pattern perfect. I'll photocopy many patterns to have them around. When ironing on a pattern, use a fresh photocopy and press hard. Tape the pattern in place to keep it from shifting. Below is the pattern I used:

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