This was one of my first commissions, and one of the first pieces I made with a Dremel 3000. My brief was ‘something square, around 15 cm with a Celtic design’.
This was carved from a piece of reclaimed red roofing slate.
This was the last slate plaque which I carved with my Black and Decker ‘Electric Wizard’ back in 2013 (and when carving was still a hobby for me).
This design comes from a Class I PIctish Stone called ‘The Brandsbutt Stone‘. It can be found in the middle of a modern housing estate in Inverurie in Aberdeenshire.
Although I never carved it into this slate, the actual stone has Ogham script on one side of the front face. This is unusual for Pictish stones. Ogham is a written script consisting of 20 letters. The Picts imported the script from Ireland. The writing on this stone reads ‘IRATADDOARENS’- thought to be the name of a local saint. It’s a tenuous link and the name sounds more like a tribe.
The lower symbol is referred to as a ‘Serpent and Z Rod’ . Does this symbol have a meaning? Well, I had always thought the Z rod represented a broken arrow or spear, whilst the snake was a symbol of medicine/healing. Protection from death in battle?
The top symbol is known as a ‘Crescent and V Rod’. The crescent- a lunar symbol? The V Rod- a broken arrow?