Lasers and learning about new technology


As you are probably aware, us Picts were great with technology!  admittedly, it was mainly Iron working but we loved making things and Rhynie would have been filled with the ringing of the anvil and whoosh of the bellows.  The 21st Century is a little bit quieter, but equally as productive.  And as you can see above they love their symbols as well.


It always amazes me how Archaeologists work with the two extremes of technology, on one hand they use field walking and digging and on the other they are working with the latest LIDAR surveys and Geophysical Scanning.  Today I was looking at things they use called computers, which in some ways reminded me of Ogham, with their 1 and 0s.  The latest technology available to use at @MAKEAberdeen included wonderful contraptions like laser scanners, 3D printers, digital embroidery machines and digital etching contraptions.  Back in the 600s we did similar things with metal, but used our own approaches – mould making, casting and etching with tools or possibly acid.


The photo above is of an item found in the Norrie’s Law Hoard – an item made of silver with intricate etching. It looks as if it was made yesterday and could have been tooled or etched with acid.  The Pictish Stones site describes the Hoard as follows:

A hoard of silver found at Norrie’s Law, Fife in 1819 included two leaf-shaped metal plaques, engraved and enamelled with Pictish symbols, as well as decorated pins and other items. A fine silver chain, a serpent-like bracelet and more pins were discovered at Gaulcross, Banffshire in 1840.

Wooden Etches 6 symbolsThe amount of skill, work and eyesight that went into the silverwork is astonishing.  These discs of wood are etched using a powerful laser and took a few minutes to etch and cut, the silverwork above would have taken a really long time to make, not to mention the cost of the silver.  They must have been made for a very rich and special person in Pictland.

laser etching cookie printer

As ever, how could I leave myself out!  This is a very special illustration of me for the very lovely Rhynie Woman, Daisy.  She is an exquisite baker and I’m looking forward to seeing myself on her lovely cookies.  Rhynie Man biscuits

Needless to say, I’ve got loads more ideas of gifts to make for Rhynie Woman and the people of Rhynie, tune in later this week for the second installment.  But in the meantime, here’s a teaser for future plans.


Lasers and learning about new technology