How to make a Traditional St. Briget’s Cross

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How to make a Traditional St. Briget’s
Cross

Below are three methods for making Brigid’s
Crosses. Hopefully, one will work best for you. I have
to give due credit to the geocities domain for the source
of this material. I just came back from Ireland and
I hate to see this lost via the internet.

In Gaelic: Cros Bhrighite

 

Materials Method 1 Method 2 Method 3


 

Rushes
are the traditional material for the St. Briget’s
Cross. All materials should be blessed before construction.
If you use rushes be sure to keep them wet but not too
wet as they will mold and rot. To avoid  the 
mess  I  have
found  that  ordinary plastic drinking straws
left in their
white wrappers are just fine. Use rubber bands to tie
up
the ends. I generally use 9 straws and 4 rubber bands,
however, any number may be used.

Size does not matter. Generally 
crosses are made from
pieces of  rush that are about 8-12 inches 
long. Some
jewelers, however,  make them in  the size
of  ear rings.


 

 Method 
1

After
searching for many months I finally broke down 
and purchased a cross from  the traditional 
Irish-American giftyshop. I took  it  apart
and found the simple secret of thedesign.  The
process does wonderful things for busy fingersand is
great with story telling!

1.  Find 9  8-12 inch  rushes, swizzle sticks 
or  drinking  straws  and  4 small
 to  medium sized rubber  bands. 

2.   Hold one of  the rushes/straws vertically.

3.   Fold  a  second  straw 
in  half  horizontally over  and at a 
right  angle over  the center of  to
the  first straw with the second  straw projecting
to the right.  Snug the inside
of  the bend  right  up to the first
straw  at
   its  center.

4.  
Grasp the center overlap tightly between thumb and fore-finger.

5.    Turn the two straws held together 90 
degrees counter clockwise  (left) 
(the two ends of the second straw will be projecting 
upwards.)

6.   Fold the third straw in half over both parts
of the second straw horizontally      
from left to right and  snug the inside of the
fold up against the center      
and the second straw. Hold tight.

7.   Holding the  center  tightly!  
Rotate all straws  (the entire assembly) 90 degrees    counter clockwise. (left)

8.   This time  the bottom half
of the first straw will be projecting upward. Fold a
new straw in half over and across all straws projecting
upward.

9.   Snug the straw tightly against the center
and against the vertical straws.

10. Holding the center tightly rotate all straws (the entire
assembly) 90 degrees Counter clockwise.

11. Fold a new  straw in half  over all vertical
straws from left to right and snug up to center and
to the right.

12. Repeat the process of rotating  all straws (the
entire assembly) 90 degrees  to the left and folding 
the new straw  over until all straws  have
been used.Remember: Hold tight to the center.

13. When the last straw has been used snug all straws to
center being careful to hold tight to the last straw
folded.

14. Secure the last arm of the cross with a rubber band or
if using rushesplatted straw or string.  Then secure
each  other arm.

15. You may paint the drinking straws but be careful as wet
paint will dissolvethe thin paper covering. Place rushes
on a  flat surface to dry. You may wish to
seal the rushes  when dry with a paint of your
choice.

 How did  you do?

Let me know send e.mail with your comments! Here
 To
the top!



 

Method 
2

This method produces a cross in a form which
is much like the Eye of God and as such it
brings to mind the antiquity of the Celtic Traditions
of Ireland.
Materials:Two sticks and either
rushes or wire or paper twist. Heavy gauge electrical
wire (I use green!) makes for a great re-usable cross
which can be re-constructed for each session.I start
the cross and pass it through the class audience for
completion.

1.Secure two sticks together at right angles. (I use string
or tape).

2.Pull rush or wire from center attachment under the
X in the top image over the top across the center
to the left. Then under the bottom left spoke then
over the upper left spoke then curve back under it
and continue in a clockwise direction (to the right).
Ideally there should be a few inches of stick remaining
exposed on each spoke. It should resemble a cross
more than an eye of god…
 

How did  you
do?

Let me know send e.mail with your comments! Here

(Source:Lettice Sanford
Straw Work and Corn Dollies)  To
the top!
 

Method 
3

This method produces a cross much like that of
Method
1 For some reason this method
seems to  be more Archaic than method 1. 

1.Tie
nine straws together at their ends. 

2.Spread
them as shown with the tied end facing down (three
to the right and two each other direction. (Image
#1) 

3.Fold
the front straw of the three under the other two.(Image2) 

4.Bring
it upand over to be alongside the two at the nest
corner.(Image3) 

5.Completed
cross is shown in Image 4 
 

(Source: Joan Rendell,
Your Book of Corn Dollies.)

 




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