Today Paul resumes work on carving his reproduction ‘Skåne Mjölnir’ pendant, which he started roughing out a few days ago in the garden.
The Mjölnir is the hammer of Thor, the Norse God associated with thunder. In Norse mythology, the Mjölnir is seen as one of the most fearsome and powerful weapons in existence, capable of leveling mountains.
Paul has produced several Thor’s Hammers over the past few months, but this is definitely the most ornate, requiring very fine micro carving.
This carving is based on a Mjölnir found from an archaeological site in Skåne, Sweden.
The original Skåne hammer is of silver with filigree ornamentation. Filigree is ornamental work of fine (typically gold or silver) wire threads or beads formed into delicate patterns. This level of fine detail is going to prove a challenge to carve.
Luckily, Paul has selected to work with a piece of native Crab Apple, which has a ‘tight’ grain, allowing clean lines to be cut even at this fine level of detail. This wood was gathered by us as part of our woodland management work for Natural Resources Wales a little over 3 years ago now.
Reproduction work poses its own challenges. Firstly, you often only have a 2-dimensional drawing to translate into a 3-dimensional object and, secondly, although it might seem easier than carving a completely new unique item, there is less room for error. With a new creative piece, we often joke that there are no such things as ‘mistakes’, only ‘design changes’. When you are trying to reproduce an archeological find, ‘mistakes’ are just that, ‘mistakes’.
I hope the luck of the Norse Gods is with Paul today, as he tries to reproduce the highly-ornate and intricate ‘Skåne Mjölnir’...