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Viking Era Carving

Course Overview

The 1904 excavation in Norway of the Oseberg Viking ship revealed a vast array of woodcarvings, unlike anything seen previously. Dragon-like head posts, elaborately carved sleighs, an exquisite wagon, and of course, the carvings on the ship itself revealed the extent of the imagination and skill of woodcarvers in the 9th century region of Vestfold, Norway. Instructor Jay Haavik has spent years studying and replicating the carvings of the Oseberg ship and has vast knowledge of the tools, techniques and motifs of this long-ago world. This five day workshop will be an opportunity for beginning as well as practiced carvers to experience the pleasure of making carvings inspired by the Viking age. Beginning students will spend the first day learning basic carving skills, including practice using knives, gouges and chisels, learning about grain direction, sharpening, creating smooth surfaces, and of course, safety, and then will make one or more simple, yet demanding, projects in Viking style. Experienced carvers should understand grain direction, and be familiar with using gouges and knives, and with sharpening tools. Experienced students will have five days to work on a larger-scale project similar to the figure-eight “Dragon” image, which includes deep relief carving with the surfaces decorated with the “diamond” cuts as found on the Oseberg ship carvings.

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