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A place for my Workings, my Weavings ...
oh, and my more mundane crafts as well.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Wire Writing: Ogham experimentation

One of the things I have always been interested in has been the Ogham (owam) alphabet. I spent scores of hours, during my younger years, pouring over books and perusing photographs and illustrations of the script carved into standing stones, way-points, and grave markers. When I was introduced to the internet and learned about the wealth of information and images available online, one of the first things I did was to search out and download the Beth-Luis-Nion and Beth-Luis-Fearn fonts by Curtis Clark ... which have been loaded into every computer that I've ever owned.

The unfortunate downside with developing a fascination for the dead script of a dead language is that there are precious few opportunities to make any sort of use of it. What's the real point, beyond being able to say that one knows it and or could write with it if they wanted to, when there really isn't any purpose for it in the real, mundane, day to day world. But the fonts were there for me to bring out and play with in Word when I wanted to.

Recently, I experimented with writing with wire ... making the first one for Kara, then the next two for a friend and her daughter. The process isn't that much different from actual writing, once you can wrap your brain around how to form the letters. And then, yesterday, the thought struck me to try the same process only using the ogham instead of the standard alphabet.

Using my preferred nickname, Medb, I first used a Word document and my preciously hoarded font (Beth-Luis-Nion) I scripted out the name (the Ogham is read either from left to right when written on parchment/paper or from bottom up the rest of the time) and then endeavoured to replicate it to with the leftover 20 gauge craft copper wire from my previous project.


Pleased with the outcome, I added an evil eye bead (not really an appropriate companion for the ancient Irish script but, considering that it's my name and finding these beads and my larger house eye meant so very much to me back in October, it just feels right to me) and finished it off with a little copper leaf.

If I could have had a slightly smaller  size of bead,
it likely would work better (or if I'd had slightly more wire left over)
but it adds a much needed weight to the pendant.

I strung it onto the lightest black cotton cord that I have ... et voila!

After I put it on, I noticed that the bead rolls
as I move my head from left to right ...
it kind of makes it look like it's really on the
lookout for anything that might mean me harm.

I'm going to expand on this idea ... try it with different gauges and see if I can figure out how to make it smaller (that's a 4 letter name and it's almost 3 inches long ... could you imagine if I was trying to write Marguerite or some-such?


  1. Considering the materials used and not knowing the importance of shape to the language, is there a danger of changing the meaning by accidentally bending and changing the shape of the pentant?

  2. I'd honestly have to say no ... you'd just end up with a bent pendant. The intent and meaning is crafted into the piece during its crafting. Once it is complete, it is set in form and meaning.

    Besides, it's surprising how study a simple piece of craft-type wire can become when it is work hardened.