A Grad Student’s Experience at the Scanning of the Ruthwell Cross

I have been urged to share my experiences as a graduate student of this past trip to do the 3D scanning of the Ruthwell cross. At the time I was putting it off to be honest, adiposity as the early mornings and late nights made writing anything cohesive a bit of a struggle. But now that the whirlwind of activity has finally started to calm down I think I have the strength back to make a little bit of sense.

The Front Door to the Kirk

However, viagra sale now that I’m home, the whole experienced last week seems ultra surreal. I have very few words to describe what an experience it was (especially as a graduate student) to work among so many talented and important people and so closely with them (and to share a room with Catherine Karkov, whose books I have read in my own research of Anglo-Saxon stone crosses)

Catherine, prepping the cross for scanning

I feel lucky and inspired! And to be given the opportunity to experience and perceive the Ruthwell cross in a way that very few people have had the opportunity to see in the same way is really… well… mind blowing, to put it lightly.

The people in the Ruthwell area: the guys from Historic Scotland who bubble wrapped the cross,

The guys from Historic Scotland, who bubble wrapped the cross

the guys who put up the scaffolding up and took it down,

The Scaffolding goes up around the bubble wrapped cross


The completed scaffolding

and above all, Susan and Robert Broach who run the church and look after the cross, were all very accommodating and friendly. Over all, I found the atmosphere there very charming and I felt that the people who learned about the project were all very excited – since they are proud to have the cross as a representation of their history they want to preserve as much as any Anglo-Saxonist or art historian! (As evidenced in the local news coverage: http://t.co/VNBYIwMg, http://t.co/vvyEpsPj and http://t.co/xBkDLJFp).

In addition to the duties on site while scanning, Dan and I were able to take a couple of day trips to see the Bewcastle cross in England,

The Bewcastle Cross (sadly weathered) and Church

and what remains of the Hoddom site,

Dan entering the cemetery at Hoddom, all that remains of the monastic site.

just a short distance from Ruthwell. Being in these places, seeing them first hand, really puts it all into perspective. But otherwise, I spent a lot of time watching the scanning. It was quite fascinating watching Marco and Matteo at work

Matteo (left) and Marco (right) hard at work

and seeing the images reproduced on their computer screen. However (I have to agree with Roberto here) that the most exciting experience was going to the church at night with Roberto, Dan, and James to take the night time raking light photographs. Not only was I allowed to participate in the overall project by holding a light for James while he took the pictures (and after only a short amount of time Roberto and I were working in unison like a synchronised swimming team), but I also got to see first-hand the amazing effects the raking light created on the carved surfaces of the cross. It was really something to take the breath away.

Overall, I am really looking forward to seeing the total outcome of this project, and knowing I was there watching history happen is more than I ever could have hoped for. I am very thankful for being given the opportunity to be involved in this project and I really enjoyed meeting and working with everyone. And I am looking forward to next time (hint hint).

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