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Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Alyce @ At Home With Books
Gra, Dilseacht, Cairdeas
Love, Loyalty, Friendship
I never share my artwork, although once I had finished this piece, I knew I wanted it to be displayed. The story of the Claddagh was one that I grew up hearing and I wanted to capture the symbol of the hands holding the heart topped with a crown. The only problem that I encountered was how I wanted to capture the emotion of the symbol. I drew up several sketches, yet none of them felt right, and finally it donned on me; the symbol itself was enough.
The Story of the Claddagh
Long ago, an Irish fisherman named Robert Joyce left his hometown of Galway, Ireland for distant ports. He sailed on a ship bound for the West Indies, but pirates came aboard and took over the vessel. They kidnapped Joyce, and sold him into slavery. He was taken to a goldsmith’s shop, and forced to work there, worlds away from the woman he loved.
Joyce never forgot the Irish woman who owned his heart, and he created the first Claddagh ring as a romantic symbol of their love. His loyalty and commitment to her were illustrated by the charming motifs he chose for the legendary Claddagh ring. Two tiny hands, gently clasping a crowned heart, were wrought from pure gold, and they symbolized the sacred nature of romantic love and faithfulness.
Joyce dreamed of returning to Galway and embracing his love, but instead, he languished for years, honing his skills as the Moorish goldsmith’s assistant. When King William III ordered the release of all slaves in 1689, he gained his freedom at last.
Despite the pleas of his master, who offered him all manner of worldly goods, and even his own daughter as a bride, if only Joyce would stay on and work for him, Joyce was resolute. He would return to his own true love, and make a life with her.
Upon his return, Bruce’s loyalty was rewarded. Margaret, the woman he loved so much, was there waiting for him, just as he had waited for her. And the couple lived out their life together. She wore her Claddagh ring until the end of her days
Until We Meet Again,