St Kessog at Luss

Joycee spent the day in Luss finishing off her sculpture in time for it’s dedication at 1500hrs, and in true Macfarlane style she did it in the nick of time.

The 10th of March this year is the 1500th anniversary of St Kessog’s arrival from Ireland to the Luss area where he was a missionary until his death ten years later death at the hands of druids. He trained under St Patrick and was the patron saint of Scotland until the 10th Century.
He played an important part in our national and local history and it’s good to see an effort being made to raise his profile. We’ve got so much else to learn about our past beyond the popstars such as Wallace, The Bruce and Rob Roy MacGregor.
Joycee was commissioned by Dane Sherrard, the minister as Luss Parish Church to make a sculpture in time for the anniversary.
And like so many of my stories on here, it has a familiar opening line. It was late when I started…

Joycee tries to use reclaimed and recycled materials where possible, and our workshop has that stuff in spades. Three ex-Clyde shipyard keel blocks were picked out (our workshop used be part of Scotts shipyard, these keel blocks are old) , chalked up and chainsawed into rough shape.
Jimmy lent a hand with some of the rough stuff, and indeed at one point that hand got a little close to the action resulting in it needing six stitches, which he got out yesterday, and immediately burst again when he got back from hospital by getting straight ack to work. You can’t stop the man.

Over the past two weeks a 7 foot tall pile of rough wood has become a figure, and the tools used to do it were often over 100 years old, belonging to a carpenter from Dumbarton who used them back at the turn of the last century.
How many of us will be passing on our Argos battery powered drills onto future generations to benefit from?

Dowelled and epoxyed, St Kessog went in the pickup and we took him up the road to get him into place. He is a heavy boy indeed, even chiseled down he’s still a six-footer, and he went by sack barrow and cart to his spot by the trees, and there was welcome help waiting from the church folks too.
The soft pink evening light lit him up and he was suddenly, starkly, red and white, the red pine and douglas fir looking highly contrasting. Joycee and I both knew that by this time tomorrow it would look very different, but I’ll bet there were some worried thoughts in Luss last night. It just goes to show that you should never view an unfinished job!

By the time Holly got to say hello to him today, St Kessog was the right colour and was standing there in the sunshine looking quite pleased with himself.
The dedication was well attended by local folk and school children, the press were there too, even a fella over from Russia to film the days events.
It was a good day, there had been more on besides the sculpture, lots of smiling faces on happy folks. I got to meet some folk I don’t see too much, including my headmistress from primary school in the 1970’s! 
Good on the organisers for doing something when it’s easier to do nothing, but most of all for me, well done the wife.

24 thoughts on “St Kessog at Luss

  1. Looks like a really nice sculpture. Will have to have a wee look at it when i am next round that side of the loch. You had a great day for it as well.

  2. Magic day today, and the Kessog is looking directly as a snow covered Ben Lomond summit from where he is!

    I’m off the rest of the week and I’ll bet the cloud will move in at 0800 tomorrow.

  3. Aye, jyc did good :o) She’s got a bust of David Livingston nearly finished too, it’ll be shared between the Livingston Centre and the Uni.
    It’s good to see her getting back into it now that Holly is a bit bigger.

    Good luck Phil, it looks not to bad out there. Measure the internal length of the F10 mind…

  4. It’s years since I was down that way.There was no bridge the last time I was there. The Glebe is a nice peaceful place enhanced by the cross and yer missus’s sculpture. I went last night and couldn’t see properly so went back at lunchtime today.
    I like that the sculpture isn’t 10 feet tall it’s more life sized relative to me which added to the feeling that he was a real person, I had to Google him later.
    I take it there must be a story board etc. going up later ?

  5. It is nice wee place, like you say it has air of calm in it. We followed the winding tracks through it and were amazed at how our perspective of the surroundings kept changing, very clever.
    There’ll be a little sign going up later I think, there’s wee signs dotted about The Glebe with bits and piecs of the Kessog tale, so it would be nice to get the fella included.

  6. It’s funny Steve, this week has seen me in Luss more times that I’ve been there in the past few years.
    I wonder if they think that bypass road is a curse or a blessing?

  7. Arghh. We’ve a new book coming out for Lomond and the Trossachs – and it includes a visit to the Glebe. Went to print on Friday – and now out of date already.

    Looks superb (the sculpture, that is!).

  8. A superb sculpture! Thare some sculptures that just give you that real special “tingle” in the spine – and even just as a photo this is one of those – very rare. And to use shipyard keel blocks is just brilliant.

    If ever Joycee fancies sculpting some mini St Kessogs…….

  9. The sculpture is really cool! I’d never heard of him before. Well done all.
    I can see holly’s saying “ocht mummy and daddy haven’t sorted his rope belt right, I’ll adjust it a wee bit then he’ll be perfect”.

  10. I’d heard the name St Kessog’s, but only because there’s a rather impressive church of that name in Comrie in Perthshire where I’ve got friends – so I’ve learnt something new as well

  11. She says from the couch “Aw, that’s nice, thanks” :o)
    This stuff has done her a power of good, she’s been asked to submit work for an exhibition now as well.
    So like I always say, more later.

  12. Pingback: PTC* » It’s a sign

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