I’ve had a long love affair with Celtic crosses. They are a wonderful fusion of art and religious meaning. I thought I would take it one step further and fuse another element – a personal family element. My sister recently celebrated her birthday, and I never know what to get that’s unique, so I thought I would carve her very own Celtic cross. Her surname is ‘Savage’ hence the name at the base of the cross.
This was a quick project. I used a compass and protractor and some high school geometry to lay it out on a sheet of paper. Then I transferred the drawing onto a piece of American black walnut. I roughed it using my bandsaw, drill press, and coping saw. Then I set the levels with a chisel (for the straight edges) and gouges (for the curved edges, and carved down to those levels, taking care to carve across the grain and using a slicing motion with the gouges to ensure a burnished finish with no tear-out.
A couple of coats of tung oil and this is the finished project:
About the carving:
It’s carved in American Black Walnut, approximately 12 inches long by six inches wide and one inch thick. It’s finished in Tung Oil. It’s not for sale, but I can make one like it for you if you wish.