Bog oak and gold, why not? I have been working with precious metals for about 25 years and using precious gemstones as well as pearl and amber in that time. I was given a slice of bog oak maybe 10 or 12 years ago by a friend and have intended to create something beautiful with it ever since. This year I decided to finally make the first cut into this precious ancient wood. As a material it has intrigued me since I first moved to Sligo 21 years ago. The idea that a tree could be largely preserved for millennia in bogland and still hold so much of its character is fascinating.
For this project, I was guided by the wood, no designing, no sketch pad. Sometimes the material tells you how it wants to be worked and on these occasions you have to follow its lead. Bog oak and gold are two very strong and honest materials and so these characteristics were all I wanted this piece to covey
Fallen trees are subjected to the tannins and iron in the bog where they lay often for thousands of years and so picks up the dark rich tonnes that we see in this piece, Darach Ársa which is the Irish for, ancient Oak.