Skip to content
Wonders of Columba - The Cycle Of Life Itself

Wonders of Columba - The Cycle Of Life Itself

The Wonders of Columba collection began with the Acanthus patterns found on Iona Celtic high crosses and beloved by the Ritchies. Depicting the stone plants growing back to life at the end of Maeve’s pencil, the acanthus patterns morph into waves of the sea, then feathers and wings of the waterbirds, whose heads fly under and over to create an interlaced pattern of passing time - watching over a silver sun and leaping fish, holding teardrops of Iona greenstone.

In Celtic mythology, these waterbirds represent the place between earth and another world, beyond our here and now. Iona itself is long considered the island that will remain above the sea when others do not. 

Iona green stone is long said to give safe passage over water, and here they are shaped like tears, for the legend of the white horse of Iona that shed tears when embraced by St Columba on the night he ascended to heaven.  


wonders of columba tor necklace sketches


As these designs for Celtic torc, pendant and earrings unfolded, Maeve discussed the concept with her father - Celtic and Scottish Gaelic scholar Professor William Gillies - who observed these designs were becoming a depiction of the sacred cycle of Iona life itself - 'where mere mortals can catch a glimpse of the divine', with no end and no beginning, in true Celtic style. William summarised the meaning and concept with pure and simple Gaelic grace - 'These are the Wonders of Columba, Feartan Chaluim Cille' - and the collection was born.

     wonders of columba collection

The stories of St Columba’s life on Iona live on in St Adomnan’s Life of Columba, written by the ninth Abbot of the Iona Monastery in the century after St Columba’s time. The resonance of these saintly miracles continue to shine bright today, drawing pilgrims and visitors to Iona from all over the world.
Cart 0

Your cart is currently empty.

Start Shopping