In 2016 the Irish Folk Art Project was delighted to receive funding from Rosin O’Grady the Tipperary Heritage Officer to carry out a photogrammetry survey of 10 folk art carvings in Tipperary. Photogrammetry is the method of creating 3D models from photographs taken using a digital camera. This technique can also bring out details in worn or weather damaged carvings that are not visible to the naked eye.
The survey was carried out by the very talented Gary Dempsey in Autumn 2016. The 3D Models created by Garry can be viewed online using the free web viewer Sketchfab and links to the models discussed in this post are embedded in the text below.
The most dramatic and the exciting result from the survey relate to the pillar built into the wall at St Bridget’s church (TN041-042003) in Thurles, discussed in earlier post.
The pillar which is 2.4m in height has a number of pieces of carved stone incorporated into its fabric. At the top of the pillar is a carving of a cat. Photogrammetry image taken of this carving revealed details that were not visible before. The photogrammetry revealed that the cat had a mouse in its mouth. We are excited to get started with further research on this carving.
Photogrammetry provided a much clearer image of the figure of the lion located at the top of the pillar to the right of the cat
and the carving of unicorn and lion carvings.
Exciting results were also achieved for the image of the cleric located close to the base of the pillar. The figure is bald and holds a cross in his right hand and a circular string of beads most likely a paternoster in his left hand. Two names Patrick Kennedy and James Bulter are crudely carved beneath the feet but do not appear to be contemporary.
Overall we were really pleased with the results of the photogrammetry survey and we will share more information about the results relating to other carvings in the coming weeks and look forward to getting stuck into more in-depth research on the individual carvings.