Saturday, September 29, 2012

Handmade relief carved custom ceramic sign

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8 x 16 Custom relief carved ceramic sign featuring our 8x8 moon woman tile
The full moon in September, known in the Northern hemisphere as the Harvest Moon, gets it's name from the fact it's appearance coincides with crop harvesting and traditionally farmers could continue to harvest late into the night by the light of the full moon. It is also known as the wine moon, the elk moon and the singing moon. Studies have shown that birds rely on the light of the harvest moon during migration and will actually wait for it's appearance to begin their journeys.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Handmade relief carved ceramic raven tile

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7 x 14 relief carved half round ceramic raven tile.
Raven, famed trickster and revered keeper of secrets, wisdom and magic.
Known as the leaders and teachers of the wise, ravens are among the most intelligent creatures on earth. Being learners, planners and problem solvers makes them highly adaptable. They construct and use objects as tools for many purposes including playthings, being very social and playful. Much like us, they speak to one another, engaging in lengthy verbal conversations using a variety of noises in various tones and patterns. They are able to mime many sorts of sounds and can be taught to speak human languages. Young Ravens spend a great deal of time carefully choosing and courting before mating for life. The elaborate courting rituals and tasks designed to show as well as develop skills while building trust between the pair will continue for one to three years until they reach sexual maturity. After mating, the couple stays together in the nest, but only the female sits on the eggs. Once the chicks have hatched both raven parents are very protective and interactive with caring for and teaching their young. Being quite like us in so many ways, the more we learn and understand the raven, so we may of ourselves as well. Ravens are another presence that serves to remind us that we are part of the natural world, not alone, but connected and akin to all beings and life.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Decorative relief carved lizard ceramic tile set

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12 x12 relief carved lizard ceramic tile set
After taking two of our grand kids to visit my friends lizard today I was inspired to feature our lizard tile set along with a snippet of Hawaiian mythology.
The geckos of Hawaii, which likely arrived as stowaways aboard early Polynesian canoes, have a great reputation rooted in the earliest history of the Islands.
For centuries four of over 900 species world wide thrived on the Hawaiian Islands. These gentle little geckos were sacred and deeply respected as the modest representatives of the giant great magical lizard, the Mo'o, an ancient mythological dragon like being appearing in legends throughout Polynesia. In early Hawaiian tradition, as part of an intricate communication system with the gods, the shape-shifting lizard Mo'o was one of the oldest and most powerful guardian spirits along with the shark, owl and hawk. These guardian spirits had living representatives which provided their wisdom to people through dreams and visions.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Handmade relief carved Celtic cross ceramic tile set

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18 x 30 Relief carved ceramic Celtic tile set
One of the oldest amuletic signs in the world is the cross, and the history of this powerful symbol is very ambiguous. At one time it was believed that it was entirely of Christian origin, but in fact it was in use by the Pagan peoples of western Asia and Europe many centuries before Christ and in the Americas long before Christianity arrived there. All known human civilizations have art or symbols and there are no systems of symbols that don't include circles and crosses. A plain circle is often representative of the moon and a plain cross along with it's variants the four directions. A cross within or extending beyond a circle, a very important symbol for the ancient Druids, is a universal symbol for the sun. Though the cross has become  predominately associated with Christianity, older meanings still persist. The Celtic Monks of the early Church practiced a simple life finding joy in spirituality, love and creation. This was also the Druids way in their worship of nature. That the Celtic cross within a circle coincides with the emergence of the cross as a Christian symbol at a time when the Gospel was being delivered to a sun worshiping culture is interesting. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Decorative relief carved ceramic Celtic knot tiles

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 In this age of ever increasing advancement in science and technology there is a danger of older accomplishments in the arts, crafts customs and pursuits being discarded and forgotten.
Decorative knotwork, the most identifiable type of Celtic art produced by the ancient Celts was born in prehistory and has been steeped in mystery since it's death some thousand years ago. Methods of original construction are obscure, but the beauty, complexity and excellence of design and workmanship achieved by Celtic artisans can be seen in examples of the art that have survived on carved stone, in jewelry, metal work and in ancient illuminated manuscripts. The symbolism is not that concrete, like the knots themselves their meanings are fluid and abstract, more related to the universe and life in general than to specific interactions. As an art form it is unique, and the current popular interest it inspires is important for it's continuity and development as a new artistic expression of Celtic origin.