Copper Earrings From Gaelic Forge

More copper earrings from Gaelic Forge on Etsy.  I have four pairs of hand forged lovelies to show today and as usual, these Celtic earrings are diverse and different.  Lots of hammered goodness with awesome patinas, mixes of metals and bead accents.  It’s always fun to see how this mix will evolve through the hand forged process.

Up first are these gorgeous pieces that are heavy with Celtic and Tribal character.  Made all from copper with different processes such as rolling, hammering, twisting and braiding.

hand forged earrings

Bold design with Celtic Tribal character.

These are definitely one of a kind. There are lots of days when the muse is playfully active round Gaelic Forge!

hand forged jewelry

Here is another pair of beautiful copper hoops, hammered and accented with an organic twist of copper suspended in the center.  Kissed with fire for a striking contrast.

hammered copper jewelry

Lots of earthiness in this design.


This next pair of copper earrings is a favorite design that Ted loves to work with.  The patterned patina looks like rust streaming with scorched, verdigris patina.

Celtic copper earrings

Simple design that show cases the verdigris patina and swirled copper accent.

A little swirled knot of copper wire accents the end.  This close-up shows the subtle organic texture that appeared through the patina process.

Copper Earrings
I love this next pair with its surprising, non-conforming crazy design! And primitive and tribal to boot! All hammered, rolled and touched with fire for a scorched flame patina.

Primitive Celtic Earrings

Hammered earrings, primitive Celtic style.

These copper earrings have a nice patina pattern which just languidly flows off from the end of these pieces.

Hand forged Celtic earrings

I’m going to take a few more shots of these four pairs and work to upload them to our shop this coming week.  Next week.  If you like any of these then be sure to be on the lookout for them.

Until then, stay cool, be mindful and enjoy life!



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Large Celtic Style Hand Forged Hoop Earrings

What kind of new hand forged earrings will we have at Gaelic Forge?  I always wonder about this myself, as we have many different designs.  Some are very complex and some are simple.

I actually have a number of new additions to upload to the shop.  But in my search of keywords and popular searches I discovered that hoops as well as large hoops has many searches.

So I recently asked Ted to make some hoops.  Different and bigger than the hoops that we presently have in our Etsy shop.  Hoops with lots and lots of Gaelic Forge character!

I came home early today, before Ted did.  I vacuumed the area rug in the living room real quick, ( I’m kind of obsessive about that), then grabbed my camera and tripod and headed out to the workbench to check out the hoop earrings.

I turned on the shop light and there they still were.  Hoops.  Beautiful and gorgeous hoops.  Celtic style hand forged copper hoop earrings.  Suspended under the light.  Dreamy color iridescence being cast from metal and glass.

I set my tripod and camera up, careful to not move anything that might disturb the stillness of the suspended hand forged loveliness of these Celtic earrings.

And then, Ka kleek!  Ka kleek!  Ka kleek!

Copper Hoop Earrings from Gaelic Forge

The orange glass beads look so beautiful with the hammered copper.

I love the hammered texture on these copper hoops.

Copper hoop earrings with wood bead accents.

Another focus showing the stripe pattern of the wood beads.

I wanted to capture the pattern of the wood beads in this shot.

Gaelic Forge hammer textured hoop earrings.

All colors look so awesome with copper including these blue accents.

Hoop Earrings from Gaelic Forge

I think there must be six or seven pairs of hoop earrings in this shot!

Thanks for taking time to stop by, we love having you here!  Be sure to drop by our Etsy and look for new offerings to the shop!


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October’s Return to Gaelic Forge Blog

Hello and once again welcome to Gaelic Forge blog!

It’s true, we were gone.  Sometimes life can turn us upside down and when we find ourselves upright again everything is fresh, brand new and exciting!

Our family grew and expanded!  In response we made a big move from our home of fifteen years to a smaller one.  Yes, it was a ton of work and honestly I am still moving into our new home with some boxes that still need to be sorted through.

And it is all good!  I am excited about all the new possibilities and good work ahead and we are happy to have you here with us!

A look at one of our new items coming to our Gaelic Forge Etsy shop.

I shot at least 100 photos of this piece.  This is from our Merlin’s Garden Collection and will be uploaded to our Etsy shop later this week.

Ted creates these sculptures from bits of wire and various metals and elements.  This particular piece has copper, brass, stone and glass.  There is also a beautiful green verdigris on the copper filaments at the base of the sculpture.


This little sculpture is from our Merlin’s Garden Collection.

I love the way these little sculptures suggest magic and mystery!  I’m sure there is a story to everyone of these Merlin Garden sculptures!

Merlin's Garden Sculpture from Gaelic Forge

Another view of this sculpture from a different angle.

The various colors presented on these sculptures are the result of metal patinas that are brought about by old methods and techniques.  No paint has been used to achieve any of the colors.  They have, however, been sealed with a clear acrylic coating to preserve the patinas.

Merlin's Garden from Gaelic Forge

There are new discoveries to be found from every angle!

Ted is the designer of these Merlin Garden pieces and I find it simply amazing to see what he can pull together from his imagination!

Minerals and Metals comprise these sculptures from Gaelic Forge.

Lots of little detail no matter what side we are viewing!

Gaelic Forge sculpture from Merlin's Garden Collection

I love the way the red orb beckons adventure beyond the horizon!

So that’s what’s happening here at the Gaelic Forge today!  Thanks for checking out the preview of Merlin’s Garden and be sure to watch for this piece landing in our Etsy shop!

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The Meaning of the Celtic Cross

In today’s post I will be sharing a little about what I  have learned about the meaning of the Celtic cross.

We can find legend and symbolism surrounding almost all historical artifacts and the Celtic Cross is no exception.  The ringed cross is closely identified with Scottish, Irish and Welsh heritage.  When we see this cross these cultures quickly come to mind.

The Meaning of the Celtic Cross

Celtic cross at Monasterboice outside Dublin by Nick Corble

There are interesting legends surrounding the Celtic cross.

One popular legend has it that St. Patrick introduced the cross intending to convert pagan heathens to Christianity.  At the time the church leaders thought it would be easier to convert pagans from their beliefs to Christian beliefs if they used symbols that they were already familiar with.

The history of the Celtic cross goes back to a time before the Christian conversion of Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

It’s believed by some that the four arms of the cross represents the four elements, earth, air, fire and water.  They also represent the four directions of the compass, North, South, East and West.  And finally the four parts of man, mind, soul, heart and body.  The horizontal line of the cross symbolizes earth and the vertical portion symbolizes heaven.

The Meaning of the Celtic Cross

Celtic Cross at Glendalough, Ireland by Andy Hares

Some believe that the ring on the Celtic cross represents the Roman sun-god, Invictus, therefore the sun.  Others interpret it as the moon.  Catholics and Protestants say this ring represents eternity and emphasizes unending love as shown by the sacrifice on the cross.  Or, that it might represent the halo.  From a practical point of view it it’s said that the ring, or circle was a solution to keep the early stone crosses from breaking.

Did you know that there are different types of Celtic cross designs?

The design of the Celtic Cross is closely associated with the politics of the times.  There is the Iron Age culture design, the scripture design and designs that represent the designs together.  The earlier crosses would have designs of Celtic art such as faces and scenes with animals, all in relief.  Many crosses have been found with intricate Celtic knot work carved into the stone.  The scripture design crosses would have depictions of significant Biblical accounts such as The Last Supper or the Crucifixion.

The Meaning of the Celtic Cross

Celtic Cross at Cashel, Ireland by Andy Hares

Apart from the historical aspect, today the Celtic cross is widely used for jewelry and other ornamentation.  Beautiful Celtic pendants can easily be found to fit any style.  They are also worn to signify a connection to Celtic ancestry either by heritage or by the love of the culture because the meaning of the Celtic Cross is rich with legend and symbolism.

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What Defines Celtic and What Does Celtic Mean?

 Have you ever asked yourself what defines the term Celtic and just what does Celtic mean?  Well I hope to answer some of your questions in today’s post.

What defines the term Celtic and just what does Celtic mean?

Isle of Skye and the Old Man of Storr, Scotland. Photo by Moyan Brenn

The name Celt originated with the ancient Greeks who called these people of central Europe Keltois.  I guess you could say one thing that defines Celtic is the fact that Celts were not a single race of people but rather a group of people bonded by their unique culture and language.  They were a constantly changing collection of tribal nations who never lived under a central government because each tribe had their own king and their own counsel.

These Celtic folks were tribal societies who lived in the Iron Age and Medieval Europe. They spoke in similar languages and had similar cultures.  During the time before the Roman Empire, the Celtic culture had spread over much of the European region.

Celtic women were equal to men, they owned their land and cattle and were free to choose their own husbands.  These men and women had equal rights to speak at council meetings.  The leader of these tribes wasn’t necessarily by blood succession but chosen by who best was able to lead the tribe.

Loch Ness Ruins

Loch Ness Ruins, Scotland. Photo by Thomas Hammer

The Celts were a religious people and after Rome converted to Christianity, they practiced the Christian religion brought to them by Roman missionaries.  But they observed religion differently than Romans who used religion as a form of obedience.  The Celts used religion as meditation and enlightenment.

Some articles that I’ve read state the Celts existed anywhere from 12,000 to 50,000 years ago!  The Celtic culture is still very alive in today’s modern world in the form of music,  art, writing and spirituality.  Celtic culture has always transformed and adapted to keep with the times. I believe this is what Celtic means and why Celtic culture is with us today.

Old Man of Storr, Scotland

Old Man of Storr, Scotland. Copyright by Moyan Brenn

If you have family roots that lie in western, central or northwestern Europe, then you have Celtic connections too!  The more I learn about the culture the more I love and realize that my German and Norwegian heritage is woven throughout with this dynamic energy as well!

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Ever Wondered About The Story Behind The Jack-O-Lantern?

Have you ever wondered about the story behind the Jack ‘O Lantern?  Did you know that the legend began with the Irish and Scottish cultures?

Ever Wondered About The Story Behind The Jack 'o Lantern?

Our daughters carved these pumpkins at their annual pumpkin party.

The story goes that once there was a miserable man named Stingy Jack.  Stingy Jack was a thief who liked to play tricks on everyone that he knew.  Everybody!  His neighbor, his brothers, sisters, even his own mother was not spared from these tricks.  Stingy Jack even played tricks on the Devil himself!

One day Jack tricked the Devil into climbing up a tree.  Once the Devil was up the tree Stingy Jack quickly placed crosses all around the bottom of the tree making it impossible for the Devil to climb back down.  Stingy Jack told the Devil that he would remove the crosses if he would promise not to take his soul once he died.

Ever Wondered About the Story Behind the Jack 'o Lantern?

Two of Four Pumpkins

The Devil promised and Stingy Jack removed the crosses from the base of the tree and let the Devil down.

Many years later when Stingy Jack did die he arrived at the gate of heaven expecting to enter.  St. Peter told Jack that he would never be allowed to enter Heaven because he lived a miserable and worthless life, only doing deeds to make others unhappy.  He sent him away and Stingy Jack had to go down to the Gates of Hell.

But the Devil would not allow him entrance to Hell because of the agreement he made with Stingy Jack years earlier.   Scared because he was going to have to wonder in darkness for all eternity Jack asked the Devil to take pity on him.  As he turned to go away the Devil threw him a burning ember to light his way.

Ever Wondered About the Story Behind the Jack 'o Lantern?

Two more of four carved pumpkins.

Jack placed the ember in a turnip which he had stolen and forever more roamed the earth with his Jack ‘O Lantern to light the way.

When early settlers came from Ireland and Scotland they found that pumpkins were easily available.  They were larger and easier to carve and took the place of turnips for the Halloween Jack ‘O Lantern.

One pumpkin on our patio step.

This is one pumpkin on our patio step very early in the morning.

So if you ever wondered about the story behind the Jack-O-Lantern then now you know a little something about it.  When you’re carving your pumpkins for Halloween, you’ll know how this legend started.  Have fun!

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Do Distractions Keep You From Checking Off On Your To Do List?

Sometimes a distraction might become something that you will want to purposefully place on your To Do List!  When this happens it’s not a problem to check it off from your list!

Here I am sitting on the couch on a Sunday morning.  When Ted brought me my first cup of coffee I had planned to write a couple of blog posts for this coming week and work on some descriptions for our shops over on Etsy and ArtFire.  All the while sharing my laptop with the cat and petting the dog!

Do distractions keep you from checking off on your to do list?

The cat is always waiting for a chance to steal a laptop!

A couple of  hours and a couple of coffees later just about the only thing that I’ve done is sign up with stumbleupon and boy was I ever drawn in!  Talk about distractions, how did I not know about this before?  Well, I knew about it, but it wasn’t on my To Do List for this Sunday morning.

Petting the dog.

This is Joplin, my Rat Terrier. She’s spoiled and doesn’t know she’s a dog!

Stumbleupon was friendly and easy to navigate and I created several lists of interesting stuff.  So far this morning I learned how to decoupage photos to tiles, how to plant succulents right into a patio table, saw an idea to make pumpkin monkey bread, found myself amazed at the sight of a crater lake and visited the Sistine Chapel!  And these are just the stumbles that are on the tip of my brain!


The thing is, really, is that I want to do it all.  Or as far as this morning goes, I want to do two things.  One planned and one not.  Once I signed up with stumbleupon, well needless to say, I stumbled, no pun intended, upon a diversion that couldn’t be checked off.

Coffee with cream.

Better than Starbucks for the Queen of Everything!

You see, the real problem I had here was that I couldn’t decide what to write about.  I found a fun reason not to write thinking that it would be an opportune time to check out stumbleupon.   Even though I know that when I’m up against a stumbling block the best way to overcome the block is to put my brain into automatic and just start.

Start.  One of my favorite words!

After the start the rest just continues to fall into place and here I am at 364 words later and as I’m writing I’m looking forward to exploring more of stumbleupon and how it works and how I can use it to share the things that we love and the Celtic jewelry that we make!  I look forward to not think of it as a distraction but something that I can check off from my To Do List!

If you have any stumbleupon tips for me then I would love to know what they are!

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Mokume Pendant Ted Made in Blacksmith Class

I have to tell you about this Mokume pendant Ted made in blacksmith class.  Our local college offered a blacksmith course that one of our sons wanted to take and he convinced his dad to enroll with him.  The class lasted for one semester but that was time enough to learn several different techniques.

Mokume Pendant Ted Made in Blacksmith Class

This is the Mokume that Ted made in class. 

One of the first techniques they learned in this blacksmith class was Mokume-gane. Mokume-gane, is more commonly called Mokume.  Denbei Shoami, a master metal worker, invented this technique of layering metal in seventeenth century Japan.  At the time Mokume was only used to make beautiful accents for the hilts and handles of samurai swords.  There is an excellent article here that further explains the process and the history of Mokume.

Mokume Pendant

I removed the leather cord for the photo. 

The layering of dissimilar metals such as copper and nickel which are then held tightly in place by a special made jig is the first step to making Mokume.  They are then heated to red-hot in a forge and when taken out they are next pressed together which causes them to fuse.  The next step is rendering a pattern on the surface of the metal through various techniques as the metal is simultaneously forged down into a thin sheet.

Backside of Mokume Pendant

This is the backside of the Mokume pendant. 

When Ted showed me this Mokume pendant he made in his blacksmith class I knew that I had to have it for my very own!  It was a beautiful and amazing piece of art.  He drilled a hole near the edge, suspended it from a leather cord and gave it to me.  I love wearing this Mokume pendant Ted made in blacksmith class.  Thank you Teddy!

Our son Woody also made some Mokume pieces and I’ll save those for a future post.  I think it is pretty amazing that skills learned and developed centuries ago are still in use today.  I also think that it is pretty amazing that there are opportunities to learn these skills and apply them in our life today in the twenty-first century.

Different Angle of the Mokume-Gane

This is a different angle of the Mokume. 

If you have local colleges in your community check them out to see what is on the schedule or look for workshops that teach these old and valuable skills.  You never know what direction these skills may take you in!

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