A Fascination With Celtic Jewellery


celtic braceletRecently I’ve been having fun making my own jewellery from beads and wire. It’s quite easy to make basic earrings, necklaces and bracelets and my family and friends are enjoying the jewellery that I’ve made for them.

I’ve even been to a clay jewellery making class and made some of my own beads and pendants. Not that well but it was interesting.

What I really wanted to learn how to do was make a Celtic bracelet because I have loved Celtic jewellery for a long time. I watched a video tutorial on Youtube, ordered the wire and beads and within a short time with 5 strand braid wire wrapping I had made the Celtic Weave Bracelet pictured. Not a very good picture I know, but if you are interested in making this Celtic Bracelet scroll down to watch the tutorial video.

Origins Of Celtic Jewellery

The meaningful symbolism and magical impression emanating from Celtic jewellery lives on strongly today, long after the Celtic culture has disappeared. During the 6th Century BC Celts covered most of Europe, part of Turkey and all of Great Britain until the Romans expanded and conquered those places. By 500 AD the Celtic culture was mostly only remaining in Ireland, the north and west of Great Britain, including Scotland and Wales and Brittany in France.

That’s the history lesson over with for today, but doesn’t it give you a sense of the age of the interesting culture that produced these charming designs?

The abstract and natural art of this fascinating bygone culture was usually full of symbols that have been passed down over the years in designs produced for Celtic jewellery. Some say that this style of jewellery making has become more popular since the story of the Lord of the Rings appeared in theatre and films. Many of those cultures were borrowed from the Celtic culture. Others even feel that we are drawn to the awe-inspiring patterns that symbolise so much of nature as if through some kind of ancient memory.

To the Celts, the designs that they wore meant something really special, and powerfully so. Their jewellery was meant to protect the wearer, perhaps increase some part of their spirit in the process. Maybe this charm kept the designs in the mind’s eye of our present culture so that in some way or another we are all familiar with them and they stayed with us. You will see the designs used in Celtic jewelry in many places and once you begin to know them you will realise how prevalent they are.

There is the Celtic spiral, or Spiral of Life, representing the cycle of life from birth to death and the constancy of the cycle in eternity and immortality. A type of Celtic spiral called the Triskele, which is actually three spirals joined together, was used often by the Celts in a different form. Instead the spirals are depictions of three legs joined together. The flag of the Isle of Man, which was under the influence of the Celts for many centuries, has this image which is similar to the flag of Sicily on the other side of Europe.

You begin with a simple recognition of the designs and then find other versions of them. This is where the fascination with Celtic jewellery can start, noticing more uses of the designs and symbols of the Celtic people. The more you look, the more you find and it can be an endlessly captivating pastime.



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