Piper Pewter's New Project

‘S e rud fìor aosda a th’ ann am meatailt feòdar. Fhuaras am pìos a ‘s sine a ‘s aithne dhuinn dheth ann an uaigh Éipheiteach a’ dol air ais gu 1450 RC. ‘Sann cianail sean a tha sin! Bidh luchd ciùird fhathast ag obair leis a’ mheatailt sin agus tha i fhathast a’ mór-chòrdadh ri iomadh neach.

Tro na linntean chleachd móran chulturan am feòdar air caochladh adhbhair agus na sluaghan Ceiltich ‘is Gàidhlig ‘nam measg. Gheibhear an dearbhadh air a seo ann an iomadh seann taigh, tuama, uaigh, bhaile, ‘s msaa. Bha cuid de ‘n luchd ciùird anabarrach teòma aig a cheàird seo mar a chìthear anns an obair a dh’ fhàg iad leinn.

An diugh chìthear nìthean snasail sgeadachail a bhios dèanta le feòdar anns na bùithean ge b’ e càit’ an téid thu. Eadar fàinneachan-cluaise, prìneachan, sgeinean-litreach ‘s iomadh rud eile, cha chreid mi gu bheil taigh ‘san dùthaich anns nach eil eisimpleirean de dh’ obair-ealain fheòdair.

celtic-hearts-500x500
Celtic Knot Heart Stud

Tha companaidh ann an Ceap Breatain air ainm “Piper Pewter” a bhios suas ri dealbhan Ceiltich a dhèanamh le feòdar agus cuideachd ri rudan ùra Ceiltich a dheasachadh.

Thòisich iad le rudan ùra le snaoimeanan Ceiltich orra a dheasachadh o chionn còig bliadhna deug no an còrr le sgeadachaidhean craobh na Nollaige a dheasachadh. Rinn iad cùmhnant le neach ealain airson dealbhan mar chraoibh na Nollaige, Bhodach na Nollaige, choinneil agus sléighe, rudan nach eil gu fìrinneach ceangailte ri cultur nan Gàidheal, ach feumar leisgeul a thoirt dhaibh o ‘n nach b’ àbhaist do na Gàidheil ann an Alba no an Ceap Breatainn greadhnachas a’ dhèanamh idir aig àm na Nollaige gus an do bhris na gnìomhan coimheach sin asteach dha na tradaiseantan againn anns an fhicheadeamh linn. Tha e duilich mar sin cuspairean Nollaig’ a bha tradaiseanta d’ ar sinnsirean fhaighinn!

An dràsda tha Piper Pewter an sàs ann am pròiseact eile. Tha ‘ad a’ cur ri chéile sreath de bhuill-mhaise, aon do gach litir anns an aibidil Ghàidhlig, agus ag ainmeachadh nan craobh a bhios co-cheangailte ri na litrichean le mìneachadh ‘is eachdraidh bheag ‘is leis an t-ainm Gàidhlig do gach craobh air gach aon dhiubh. Bidh duilleag no duilleagan de gach craobh air an dealbhadh air a’ bhall-mhaise gus na craobhan aithneachadh. Tha ceithir dhiubh deiseil an dràsda agus théid an còrr a dheasachadh anns na mìosan ‘sa tighinn.

Tha mi toilichte gu bheil a leithid dol a bhith dèanta. Thar leamsa co dhiù, tha i cudtromach gum bi nìthean mar seo air an cuimhneachadh aig daoine fiù ‘s ged nach ann do mhuinntir nan Gàidheal a bhuineas ‘ad. Bidh gnothaichean mar seo, beag ged a dh’ fhaodas ‘ad a bhith, a’ sgaoileadh amach dha ‘n t-saoghal fios air doimhneachd a’ bheartais a th’ ann an cultur ‘s an saoghal nan Gàidheal. Le tuigse air ioma-fhillteachd ‘is leudachd ar dualchais, thig meas ‘na choise. Chan fhaod sin ach feum a dhèanamh dhuinn uile.

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Pewter is an ancient metal.The oldest piece it that we know of was found in an Egyptian tomb going back to 1450 BC. That’s very old! Craftsmen are still working with this metal and it is still very popular with a lot of people.

Through the centuries a great many cultures have used this metal for a variety of reasons, the Celtic and Gaelic peoples among them. The proof of this is gotten in many an old house, tomb, grave, town, etc.. Some of the craftsmen were exceptionally talented in this trade as can be seen from the work they’ve left for us.

Today a lot of fine ornamental items can be seen that are made from pewter in the stores wherever you go. Between earrings, pins, letter openers and many other things, I doubt there’s a house in the country without an example of pewter artistry.

Celtic Star
Celtic Star

There is a company in Cape Breton by the name of Piper Pewter that is producing Celtic designs using pewter, and also making new Celtic designs.

They started by contracting for  items with Celtic knotwork fifteen years ago or more with Christmas tree ornaments. They contracted for designs such as Christmas trees, Father Christmas, a candle and a sleigh, things that are not really connected to the culture of the Gaels, but we must excuse that because it was not the habit of the Gaels in Scotland nor in Cape Breton to celebrate Christmas at all until that practice broke into our traditions in the twentieth century. Therefore it’s very difficult to find Christmas themes that were traditional to our ancestors!

Now Piper Pewter is involved in a new project. They’re putting together a series of ornaments, one for every letter in the Gaelic alphabet, and naming the trees that are connected with each letter, with an explanation and a short history and the Gaelic name for each tree on every one of them. There will be a leaf or leaves drawn on each ornament to identify the trees. Four of them are now ready and the rest will be produced in the coming months.

AILM (ELM)
AILM (ELM) The Elm is a tall slender tree that grows in mountainous regions, its cones respond to the environment by opening with the sun and closing with rain. Because of its height it indicates aspiring views, far sight and clear vision. In addition it symbolizes flexibility, astuteness and the ability to change. Its wood is considered good for magic that involves shapeshifting.

I’m glad that such work as this is going to be done. In my opinion anyway, it’s important that things like this be remembered by people, even if they don’t belong to the population of the Gaels. Works like this, small thought they may be, are spreading out to the world a knowledge of the depth of the wealth that is in the culture and the world of the Gaels. With an understanding of the complexity and scope of our culture comes respect. That can only do us all good.

Written for celticheart.ca by Aonghas MacLeod

Piper Pewter's New Project

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