Incredible stone carving recreates design from Book of Kells

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Stone carving is an old tradition that lives on through artisans like Finn McCallum. The UK-based creatives pound the slate to uncover intricate designs that are awe-inspiring in their attention to detail. One of his most ambitious carvings features a design borrowed from the 9th-century manuscript known as Book by Kells. It took him hundreds of hours to complete the piece and it’s easy to see why; His interlocking motifs feature a range of textures and tiny shapes.

There are a number of reasons that led McCallum to recreate the historical design. “Coming from Scotland,” he tells My Modern Met, “I have an affinity for Celtic art forms, including the artworks of medieval manuscripts.”

carving the Book by Kells was also an opportunity to stretch his artistic muscles. “I chose this particular design because its sheer complexity would allow me to challenge myself and test my skills with a hammer and chisel,” shares McCallum. “The image may have had a different meaning than the monks who originally designed it some 1,200 years ago, but to me it represents the interconnectedness of nature, the interwoven complexity of the relationships between animals, plants and all life on our planet.”

Carving is an incredible skill, and a piece like this is the culmination of practice and perseverance. McCallum began carving stone after taking a short weekend course in the traditional craft. He learned the basic methods and became hooked. “After a few years I was able to give up my day job as a gardener and become a full-time stone carver and have since completed a wide range of public and private commissions, from monuments and coats of arms to large garden and public sculptures. Recently I have built up a body of sculpture and relief carving largely inspired by ancient art styles from Celtic to Mesopotamian.”

McCallum sells his work through his Etsy shop.

Stone carver Finn McCallum recreated a design from the 9th-century manuscript known as The Book by Kells.

Stone carving by Finn McCallum

It took him hundreds of hours to complete the piece and it’s easy to see why; His interlocking motifs feature a range of textures and tiny shapes.

Stone carving by Finn McCallum

That’s not all McCallum created.

Stone carving by Finn McCallumStone carving by Finn McCallum

McCallum began carving stone after taking a short weekend course in the traditional craft. He learned the basic methods and became hooked.

Stone carving by Finn McCallumStone carving by Finn McCallumStone carving by Finn McCallum

“After a few years I was able to give up my day job as a gardener and work as a full-time stonemason,” he tells My Modern Met, “and have since completed a wide range of public and private commissions from memorials and heraldic coats of arms to large garden and memorial sculptures public sculptures.”

Stone carving by Finn McCallumStone carving by Finn McCallumFinn McCallum: Website | Instagram | Etsy | Facebook

My Modern Met has given permission to feature photos of Finn McCallum.

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