Coop’s Wood Carved Cross with Katrina’s Wood burning of Prayers. The Plague Cross with its prayers against the plague is having a resurgence.
MEANING: This Plague Cross is developed from Medieval European Textual Amulets. They could be worn on the body or posted on walls to ward off evil.
The Black Death gave impetus to hand-production of plague amulets offering divine protection and supernatural healing.
Technological advancements in printing during the 15th century allowed clergy to hand out ‘plague sheets’
Text and symbols in the plague amulet reinforced the promise of saintly intercession against the plague. ‘“Characteres’ interspersed with Latin crosses and configured in cruciform
♰ Z ♰ D I A ♰ B I Z ♰ S A B ♰ ♰ H G F ♰ B F R S
Medieval liturgical formulas could be abbreviated by giving only the initial letter of each word. At the time this plague amulet was in use, clerics would have recognized the ‘characters’ as a shorthand for the Saint Zacharias Blessing. Bernhard Sannig (1638–1704), a Franciscan theologian active in Prague, explained the text as a remedy against the plague. The legend was, that Saint Zacharias (d. 116 AD), bishop of Jerusalem, had collected this set of prayers against the plague, which were later written down on parchment as ‘characteres’, preserved in a Spanish monastery and recommended in 1546 at the Council of Trent for their efficacy.
Our carvings are single pieces of western red cedar, designed and carved to be wall hangings. Each carving begins as a 1 X 12 inch cedar board. While we use power tools (Scroll Saw, Rotary shaft Tool, handheld detail sanders etc.), we use no laser’s, CNC machines or computer operated cutting machines. All work is done with our hands and eyes…
We cut the 2 dimensional blanks with scroll and jig saws (double-sized custom orders have to be cut with jigsaw). Carving is done with rotary shaft tools and disc grinders. The 80 grit sanding is the final phase of the carving process, removing the nicks and gouges from the carving tools, and finishes the shaping of the weave. The next 2 sandings with 120 then 220 grit finishes the smoothing and polishing. They are finished with Clear Danish Oil to seal the piece, bringing out the grain and the color.