At the beginning of 2013 I launched a new Celtic design for all of my products. Celtic designs are particularly complicated when designing with wood and negative space. Maintaining the illusion of the celtic knot makes changing the size of the design difficult, and I have a wide variety of sizes that I need, but I tried it anyway. With this Celtic design I wanted to create something that looked organic. For inspiration I turned to my local medieval-style historic home: Glencairn.
Glencairn was built in the 1920's and 30's by Raymond Pitcairn. He primarily designed the building to be a private home for himself, his wife Mildred Glenn Pitcairn, and their nine children, but he also wanted the building to showcase his extensive medieval art collection. Fourteen years after his death, and one year after Mrs. Pitcairn's death, their children decided to donate the building to the Academy of the New Church. The building was then transformed into a museum dedicated to the history of religion.
Glencairn Museum is now open to the public and available for tours Monday-Saturday (but call ahead because the tours can fill up!). The local high school and college, that together make up the Academy of the New Church, use the building extensively in their art and history courses. When I was a senior at Bryn Athyn College I began working at the museum as a tour guide, and as a host for the Coffee in the Castle Saturday program.
One of the neat things about working in a building like this is that no matter how many times I'm there, or how much time I spend looking at everything, there are always more details that I haven't noticed yet. The specific detail that inspired my Celtic design is actually a painting on the first floor door to the elevator.
In 2008 Glencairn Museum, the Bryn Athyn Cathedral and Cairnwood Estate were all put on the register of National Historic Landmarks. If you are ever in the Philadelphia area I highly recommend taking a tour of the Bryn Athyn Historic District. All three of the buildings are spectacular and unique. Why not make a day of it?