Monday, January 7, 2013

Runes 301 - Making Your Own Runes 6

Wow!  I just realized that I haven't posted anything about making my own Runes since July.  My apologies.  I let life get in the way of completing this project.  However, I have committed to finishing it before spring and I made some good headway yesterday.  I even learned a couple of new things and had some realizations from my last post about making Runes (Runes 301 - Making Your Own Runes 5) reinforced.

For starters, completing the project in a more timely fashion would have made the process easier.  The wood is drying out and the larger pieces were harder to carve out the space for engraving the Runes.  Because the wood is dry, the bark is also dry and it is separating a bit from the wood.  In short, the bark could easily come off the wood and I am trying to keep it on.  In a few instances when the bent chisel missed its mark, I cut into the bark and, though it didn't sever completely from the stave, it did lift away from it.  I hope that the varnish will help hold things together.

Staves being carved out to engrave Runes on them.
When I started carving, I began with the thinnest staves.  They were easy and pretty straight forward, the experience being as I mentioned in my last post.  They are on the left side of the pictures.  However, the wider staves were harder to carve out; that is to say the wood was harder, which made carving more difficult.  I still have five of the wider staves left to carve.

As you can see from the pictures, not all of the carved out spaces are located on the same place on the staves.  Some are in the middle and some are at the end.  I chose the spaces based on each individual stave's characteristics.  Some had natural flat spots, others had knots or spots where smaller branches had been growing out.  I worked with these natural aspects of the staves.

From this carving experience, I have learned a few important things.  I knew I wasn't a carpenter or wood-working artist, so I wasn't expecting perfection, but next time I make a set of Runes, I will consult first with someone who is one of those things.  I still won't expect perfection, but I am sure they can give me some pointers to make the process easier.  Given I am not endowed with these talents, the other thing I've learned or accepted is that I need to let go of any expectations I may have had about how the Runes will look when they are done.  To that end, just as I worked with the individual features of each stave, so have I embraced the fact that, while they may not look perfect or beautiful or any of that when they are done, they will be mine and each one will be as unique as the meaning of the Rune engraved on it.

As before, if you have made a set of Runes or have a story about your Runes that you would like to share, I invite you to leave a comment on this post or contact me directly.  I think this is an important part of the process and I enjoy learning about other people's experiences.

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