A knotty plaque

This looks rather like a work in progress or an experimental piece. It doesn’t seem to be quite finished. The design is quite complex for such a small carving and must have been difficult to produce. It’s fascinating working out how two apparent circles have been linked to make the oval shape.

It’s a shame that we don’t know who created the plaque, or when. Perhaps it was one of Bain’s school pupils, or a member of his family.

A New Forteviot Cross

Commissioned by the Tay Landscape Partnership, this is my new Pictish Cross for the historic village of Forteviot, near Perth. The cross commemorates the king of Pictavia,  Cinaed son of Alpin, who died at Forteviot in 858 AD.

The cross side uses knotwork motifs from fragments found at Forteviot. The key pattern is inspired by carvings at Iona.

From the Book of Kells

From the Book of Kells, hand-carved in wood. George Bain illustrates this in his book Celtic Art, Methods of Construction on page 104. He notes that the early medieval scribe drew the original  with a maximum dimension of only 3.7cm.