Remember how I was going to try it on paper–well my laurel put me in touch with a good gentle in the east who is on facebook and who I was able to have a couple of conversations with about viking rock/markers/scrolls. I decided that I was going to make the scroll in soapstone since that would be easier on my hands to try to work with (not to mention that soapstone is just gorgeous as far as being a tactile object. It’s silky and smooth and even when it’s rough it still makes my hands thrill. Yeah, I am waxing poetic about a rock. LOL.
I did my homework and found a place that would mail me soapstone in something larger than a 2×4 inch block. And I waited and it took a week to arrive (not to bad, considering it came via Canada, eh?)
It is lovely. But it didn’t match my inner vision of what I wanted to work with. I put it away for a future project (or perhaps just to sculpt it for my own pleasure at a later date).
So that meant I had to go afield and find a piece of stone that looked like I wanted it to.
As I live in the midst of farmers fields and hedgerows there are always rocks if you look for them and avoid the pernicious poison ivy! I found one that was about 2.5 feet long and 2 inches thick. I thought “Perfect! Yah!”
Shows what I know.
First, I should admit that I did not and couldn’t decisively ID the stone. I thought it might have been some kind of shale or slate since we have a lot of it. I don’t know what it was, but although I could carve into it, if I used water (to keep the dust down and off my glasses) it turned into a kind of muddy mess. Realizing thtat that wasn’t going to work I went back to square one and went back out into the hedgerow to find a better rock.
What I found wasn’t perfect by any means, but it 1) didn’t turn to a mucky mess when I wet it, and 2) it was of a good size not to get lost but not so large as to take up someone’s precious living-room space. I brought it back home, gave it a wash down and then tried to carve it. Wasn’t going to be done by hand–way too hard on the mohs scale. I bought some diamond burrs for my dremel, and after a test decided that it was going to work.
As I’d been advised to use the Elder Futhark I then started working out what I thought sounded like an appropriate scroll text for a viking. I then wrote it all on the rock (first I tried pencil but it matched the stone color too well and ended up going over it with a fine point sharpie.).
It took me a few days to get it done. (I should probably mention that I had fractured my wrists a month or two earlier and was wearing wrist braces most of the time. I made it through and got the scroll done.
I didn’t manage to get a photo of it before it got given out, but Bjorn did shoot a quick one for me. I’ve done it in b&w for a higher contrast so you can sort of see the runes. I do have the translation somewhere around here (and I’ll post that too, when I find it).
The most important thing about it is the fact that it made him very happy and is a perfect fit for his persona. So I felt really good about that.