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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Thor's Hammer

Bookmark and ShareIt's not every day of the week I get a commission to carve a lovespoon celebrating both Wiccan and Odinist religions and the brief which accompanied this particular order was chock-a-block with interesting and exciting ideas.  I confess, I know very little about Wicca or Odinism, so I had to do a bit of reading before I got carried away with the pencil.  It's VERY easy to make mistakes or cause inadvertent insult when designing outside a comfortable frame of reference and the very last thing I would ever want to do is be at all demeaning or insulting toward my clients.  So with that in mind, I spent a lot of time making sure that my rendition of my client's ideas would be accurate and something they would enjoy.  
Important to my client, was the idea of Thor's Hammer and due to it's rather commanding shape, we felt it would make a very dramatic bowl for our spoon with it's handle merging up into the handle section of the spoon.  I studied dozens of drawings and versions of Thor's Hammer before settling on this very cool pointed version.  With the bowl centred over top of a particularly vibrant section of spalted figure, there was no doubt it would be eye-catching!

A nice pair of Celtic knots symbolize eternity and the notion of eternal love and give some flair to what could have been an unwieldy and heavy section of the design.  The initials of family members are all rendered in a Wiccan font at the top of the hammer's handle, each in its own love heart.  I REALLY love the effect a bit of spalting can make and even though it is a bit of a nightmare to carve cleanly, I think the result is always more than worth the effort!  Overall, the hammer has a powerful presence (as a hammer belonging to Thor should!) but it is also pretty damned stylish in a masculine kind of way.

I had a great time with the middle section of the spoon.  Although it is by no means the flashiest section of the design, I had a lot of fun coming up with some runic symbols that were significant to the family and wrestling to carve the pentacle in a particularly punky section of spalted wood which threatened to crumble away on me at the slightest wrong touch!  There are little Wiccan and Odinist symbols tucked away throughout this spoon and the little one at the top of this picture was another challenge to cut cleanly in the highly figured wood.

The spoon is crowned by a raven and a dragon who form a stylized heart-shape and envelope a Celtic knotwork 'tree of life'.   I wanted the dragon to have a Nordic feel to it and for it to be evocative of the prows of Viking longboats...maybe Thor's own boat would have a dragon like this guiding the way.
I got lucky with a sweet section of spalting which appeared as I rounded the raven's shoulders.  I love the way it makes the wing look like it is moving as the spoon is moved under light.

This spoon certainly presented me with some challenges both in getting to grips with the design AND with carving through some of that spalted figure, but I am very fond of Thor's mighty hammer!!

1 comment:

  1. I tried to comment on this spoon, but it was inserted into another spoon blog? Anyhow, this is great! Very symbolic, one must know what it is all about. Cool! I like the "floating" Celtic knot. Great work!