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The Gallery of New York Folk Art



The Gallery of New York Folk Art

Peter Teresco
Peter Teresco
Woodcarver Peter Teresco with “Seamus”

Claddagh cross
Claddagh Ring Cross, 40 inches tall
From the Artist: My first attempt at woodworking was about 30 years ago. I designed and built a crib for a newborn son. From the scraps of that project came my first toys, Christmas gifts for nephews.

I am self-taught, beginning my carving with a $3.00 set of chisels at the kitchen table. All of my work is of my own design; I carve with traditional hand tools, use woods native to the Northeast mostly Adirondack white pine and cherry. I add no color to my work, instead relying on the use of various woods to add color and texture. I finish most of my pieces with linseed oil; this finish allows the wood to naturally darken with time—a process that I find desirable.

My woodwork was mostly toys at first, then on to small furniture for children, and later, a few pieces of real furniture. Most recently, I have been carving larger figures in the round, usually leprechauns that are about five feet tall. My first leprechaun, "Larry" introduced me to Irish and Celtic art, especially the Celtic ringed cross. A visit to Ireland several years ago excited a greater interest in the Irish High Crosses and their symbolism.

The carving of the crosses has combined for me two areas of interest—history and carving. I find the carving of the ancient symbols with my traditional tools gives me a connection with the past that is rare today.

I am a twenty year juried member of the Designer Crafts Council, and I have lived all of my woodcarving life in historic Schenectady, New York, with my Irish bride, MJ. It is the influence of MJ that is largely responsible for my interest in Celtic style art. It was she who suggested that my first large in the round carving be a leprechaun.

For more information about Peter’s woodcarving, visit his website at www.irishcrosses.com

Peter Teresco’s Celtic crosses are available for purchase through the on-line gallery shop of the New York Folklore Society: New York Traditions.

The gallery is made possible with the generous support of the
William Gundry Broughton Charitable Foundation.


Ringed Cross with Celtic Style Knots

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