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Viking Era Carving: Dragons of Oseberg

Course Overview

In 1904, five dragon-like animal headposts were excavated from the Oseberg Viking ship grave. Dating from 800 A.D., these exquisite carvings with their bared teeth, long necks and elaborate relief carving are iconic works and demonstrate some of the highest levels of art and woodcarving skill seen throughout the world. Students will carve a slightly smaller version of one of the originals. While most of the course will concentrate on forming the basic shape of the neck, head, ears, and eyes, there will also be instruction and practice on the “diamond” cuts found on the head and neck. The instructor has worked extensively on historical sites in Norway, including the Oseberg replica, the Borgund Stave Church and the Viking Ship Museum. He will share images and stories from experiences and offer a variety of demonstrations throughout the course.

Students should have an understanding of grain direction, know how to use gouges and chisels, how to sharpen them, and be familiar with three-dimensional carving.

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