Today I finished the second of two upper arm pieces for a man of the Irish O'Sullivan Clan. The two heraldic animals emblazoned on the Clan crest are the King Stag, monarch of the forest, and the Wild Boar, most fierce of prey. They are rendered in pointillist dots in the style of the ancient 9th century Pictish stone carvings, and surrounded by a ring of Celtic knotwork.
Today I was pleased to install this piece on a man who has a great appreciation for canines. A brace of mighty Irish Wolfhounds anchor this knotwork sleeve-front, woven seamlessly into the pattern of intricate traditional Celtic interlace.
A trio of mighty wolves circling together form a Celtic ring. In Celtic Mythology the wolf was revered as the companion of Cerridwen, goddess of the Moon and fertility. The three wolves represent death, change, and rebirth.
One of my favorite political symbols is the Gadsden Flag, established in 1775 and bearing the motto "Don't Tread on Me." It was taken up by the Tea Party activists, but I had been putting stickers of it on my vehicles for many years before. In conversations with an excellent patriotic client I came up with the idea of rendering it in a skeletal form, and this tattoo is the result. We chose to encircle it with both the original text and "Nemo me impune lacessit" which is on the royal coat of arms of the Kingdom of Scotland and translates in the Scots language to: "Wha daur meddle wi me?" Many years later I have had a chance to do it again, this time encircling it with a ring of Celtic knotwork.