Of Luckenbooths and Claddaghs…

“Frankly my dear I don’t give a damn!”  We all (well at least a lot of us) know this line from the famous 1939 movie “Gone with the Wind”.  The film’s leading man, Rhett Butler, uttered this phrase when he had finally reached the giving up point with the films leading lady Scarlett. I was reminded of this line a few months ago when I was working with a customer who was seeking some unusual work to be done on a custom saddle she had ordered. Now I realize when you offer your services to perform custom work for people that you open the door for all sorts of suggestions and like when you open the lid to “Pandora’s box”, the “Pandoras can get out”!

I like the challenges associated with custom work but when my Scarlett began to describe how she wanted her saddle to be carved it took me some time to grasp her exact meaning. Now, I may be a little slow at times (according to my spouse), but this project probably took more hours in drawing time than it actually did to execute on the saddle. Drawings went back and forth for weeks until we had tweaked the look she was seeking. It was during that time that Rhett Butler’s phrase occasionally crept into my mind. I had to familiarize myself with Luckenbooth symbols, Claddaghs, garlandry, wreathery and lots of other artistic work from the British Isles dating to the 1900-1915 era. I have done some work with Celtic knots before and some of this work was to be incorporated into the theme of this saddle as well.

Well, we made it and after waiting several months for her custom silver horn cap, the project is completed. Thanks to Ernie Marsh for the great job on the horn cap. I can now share some pictures of the final project. I’m glad Scarlett challenged me, even though I didn’t always feel that way on the journey. Like all journeys, much can be learned and appreciated when the final destination is reached. It is often only then that we can really appreciate the journey itself.

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