Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Decorative relief carved ceramic cat tile/plaque


18 x12 ceramic tile set featuring our 14x7 relief carved cat tile, the set or the cat on it's own are available to order in a variety of colors and finishes from http://earthsongtiles.com.
Rathcroghan is a complex of archaeological sites in Ireland that were the historical center of many ritual gatherings as well as being an important cemetery location. It’s a very significant site in Irish mythology and has major associations with the feast of Samhain. It was believed that on the last night of October graves would open to allow all manner of both good and destructive spirits to walk the earth. There was much ritual revolving around both the honoring of dead ancestors and protection against malicious spirits.

One of the most unique sites of Rathcroghan is Owenynagat, ‘Cave of cats’, known traditionally as a place of power and a portal to the underworld When Christianity took hold in Ireland it became known as ‘a gateway to hell ‘which had the most pronounced power near Samhain, when the veil between worlds is said to be thin. Legends told that the goddess of the underworld, Morrigan would emerge from the cave every Samhain in a chariot pulled by a one legged chestnut horse along with various other creatures. The name “Cave of Cats’ is thought to come from either the story of magical wildcats that emerged from the cave to attack three Ulster warriors before being tamed by the mythical Irish hero, Chuchulainn; Or from Iruson a Cat king that lived in a cave (possibly Owenynagat) and featured in many Irish fairy tales. Many modern practices and beliefs from folk tradition in Celtic countries still revolve around the significance of the dead or ancestors; and the vast subject of fairy realms and second sight cannot be separated from the worship of the dead.

Saturday, October 26, 2013


Relief carved 12x12 ceramic Celtic knot tile, available to order in an assortment of colors from http://earthsongtiles.com
~the Celts~ by Thomas D'Arcy McGee 1958
Great were their deeds,
their passions and their sports,
with clay and stone
They piled on strath
and shore those mystic forts,
not yet o'er thrown;
On carin crowned hills
they held their council courts;
While youths alone,
with giant dogs explored the elk resorts,
and brought them down.
Of these was Finn, the father of the bard,
whose ancient song
over the clamour of all change is heard,
sweet voiced and strong.
Finn once o'er took Grainia,
the golden haired,
the fleet and young;
From her the lovely and from him the feared,
the primal poet sprung.
Ossian! Two thousand years of mist and change,
surround thy name-
The Fenian heroes now no longer range
the hills of fame-
The very names of Finn and Goll sound strange-
Yet thine the same-
By miscalled lake and desecrated grange-
Remains and shall remain!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Handcrafted relief carved Celtic ceramic tile

Custom tile panels featuring our relief carved thistle, Celtic knot border and Celtic dragon tiles for a antique Scottish fireplace.
~Beside the Fire~ Author Unknown
Where glows the Irish hearth with peat
there lives a subtle spell,
the faint blue smoke, the gentle heat,
the moorland odors tell
of white roads winding to the edge
of bare untamed land
where dry stone wall or ragged hedge
runs wide on either hand.
The cottage lights that lure you in
from rainy western skies;
And by the friendly glow within
of simple talk and wise,
and tales of magic, love or arms
from days when princes met
to listen to the lay that charms
the Connacht peasant yet.
There honor shines through passion dire,
there beauty blends with mirth,
wild hearts ye never did aspire
wholly for things of earth!
Cold, cold this thousand years- yet still
on many a time stained page
you pride, your truth, your dauntless will,
burn on from age to age.
And still around the fires of peat
live on the ancient days;
There still do living lips repeat
the old and deathless lays
And when the wavering wreaths ascend
blue in the evening air
the soul of Ireland seems to bend
above her children there.

Decorative handmade, relief carved Celtic fairy ceramic tile


8x10 relief carved and hand painted ceramic Celtic fairy tile available to order from http://earthsongtiles.com.
~Happy full 'Hunter's' moon~
American Natives named this bright October moon for obvious reasons; The leaves have fallen, the deer are fattened and it's time to begin storing meat for the long winter ahead. Because the fields were traditionally reaped in late September hunters could easily spot animals that came to glean left overs from the fallen grain. With the threat of winter looming close, the hunter's moon was given special honor and historically an important feast day in both Western Europe and among many Native American tribes.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Decorative handmade tile fireplace

A fireplace done in decorative tiles from http://earthsongtiles.com
Hestia was a Greek goddess of the hearth and home, and as such presided over the cooking of bread and preparation of the family meal. She was also a goddess of the sacrificial flame and the communal cooking of sacrificial meat was another part of her domain. In Greek myth Zeus allowed Hestia to remain an eternal virgin and gave her a place at his Royal hearth.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Decorative relief carved and hand painted Ibis and fish ceramic tile

4x6 relief carved Ibis and fish tile, available to order in a variety of colors and finishes from http://earthsongtiles.com
~ Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!~
As the morning sun brightens the earth and sky
May my soul shine bright with gratitude.
As all the living plants and creatures sing their song of life
May my soul sing the song of my heart gladly
whether in joy or sorrow
As the sun crosses the sky to the west
May I keep the vision of my life before me
having faith it has meaning
As the earth spreads out from the glowing horizon
May my soul expand to embrace it
May I speak the truth of the land
and take responsibility for my life.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Decorative hand crafted, relief carved ceramic sunflower tile

4x4 relief carved and hand painted sunflower tile available to order in a variety of colors from http://earthsongtiles.com
Originally from Mexico and Peru, evidence suggests, the wild sunflower has been used as food and medicine by Native Americans for at least 8000 years. Cultivation of the sunflower began as early as 2300 BC possibly pre dating the earliest cultivated food in the Americas known as the 'Three sisters', corn, beans and squash. A fine meal for baking and thickening was made from the roasted seeds and balls of sunflower butter, much like peanut butter were a convenient food for travel. The roasted hulls steeped in boiling water produced a coffee like beverage. Dye was extracted from hulls and petals while face paint was made from a mix of dried petals and pollen. The ground seeds also provided oil for cooking and hair treatment. Medicinally the sunflower was used extensively for many maladies including lung issues, wart removal and as a treatment for snake bite and sunstroke. When the sunflower reached Europe it was mainly treated as a curiosity and garden flower. It wasn't considered an edible crop until it made it's way to Russia where it was enthusiastically accepted as an oil source that could be eaten during Lent and Advent without breaking Orthodox Church laws. Hybrid sunflowers now dominate commercial production and unfortunately many of the early open pollinated varieties have been lost and are likely extinct.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Decorative handmade, relief carved ceramic gnome tiles.


Relief carved and hand painted 4x4 ceramic Gnome tiles.
Wheat, along with rice has been a primary source of nourishment for the human race since pre-historic times. The history and evolution of humans and that of wheat are closely related, the ability to sew and reap cereal such as wheat and barley is thought to be one of the main reasons man largely gave up the nomadic life of hunting and gathering to live together in communities. Ancient Egyptians produced the earliest risen loaves of  bread from wheat and yeast, 5000 year old loaves from Egypt have been found in archaeological sites. In 168 BC the Roman Bakers guild was created, due to the great importance of bread to the population Bakers unlike all other craftsmen were recognized as free men instead of slaves. In Turkey where it is speculated wheat originated from, wheat bread is still considered sacred as is wheat itself in parts of China.
Today, close to one third of the worlds population depends on wheat for sustenance.