Icelandic Snail Cross

It’s typical for a consort to give their fighter a token with their arms on it to wear into battle. Often, this is done with a belt favor embroidered by the consort. I’m getting more and more into Viking garb and study, and Culann is a northern Celt, so a belt favor didn’t make sense to me. So I pondered, “what might a Norse woman give a northern Celt?”

I consulted with Master Freidrikr about what would be an appropriate gift and he suggested that an amulet, like a Thor’s Hammer, would have been a noble gift. My inspiration piece was an Icelandic 10th-century artifact known as the “Wolf Cross” or vargkors”  found in Foss.*

This is the final result:

bronze-cast winged snail version of Icelandic wolf-head cross

 

Wolf cross from Foss, Iceland, 10th-century

Wolf cross from Foss, Iceland, 10th-century

Out of beeswax I created a Thor’s Hammer as a gift for Sir Culann MacCiannon, my favor, for him to wear when he fought for me in the East Kingdom Spring Crown Tournament AS52.  It was cast in bronze by Mark Frasier (Izzo) and let’s be clear that Izzo did the lion’s share of the work!

My original one was really huge and would have been totally inappropriate for the work, I discovered, even if it had been successful. (And way, way too heavy.) The original was very tiny, mine is much bigger but still reasonable.**

Here’s a shot of the wax which was cast. A mold was poured around it and then when dry the mold (plaster and/or sand) is put in a kiln to harden, and the wax melts, leaving the empty cavity. (The first such mold exploded in the kiln because it still had moisture in it, losing the mold and the first wax item.) Then hot metal is poured into the mold and when cooled the mold is broken. Every piece is as unique as the wax because of this process.

Winged snail sculpted in beeswax

 

Winged snail sculpted in beeswax, top view

 

Here’s a whole photo process document, if you’re interested: https://goo.gl/photos/xqCgddwX9axxaR5D9


Footnotes:

* (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Archaeological_record_of_Mjöllnir#/media/File:Vargkors_kopia.jpg)

**https://angloscandinavianchronicle.com/2011/09/20/the-size-of-artifacts/

 

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