The ancient story of Wayland had been an obvious choice for my kista because of the nickname I have been known by for so many years, the next most obvious choice was to follow the connection of the logo I have used in my living history business for almost as many years.
The one eyed mask you see at the top of this page is a simplified depiction of Óšinn based loosely on a carved face found in the Oseberg ship burial.
It is fair to say that back sometime in the last millennia when I created that Óšinn logo, which I still use today, I did not know as much about the mythology as I know now.
Óšinn was originally a sort of psychopomp, mainly responsible for guiding the dead to the afterlife. His promotion in the latter Viking Age to some kind of “Father of all the Gods” seems to have been rooted in the turbulent religious politics
of the time. The followers of his cult were usually the rich and powerful and he was certainly never a trustworthy god.
He was known under many names as he often travelled around the Norse worlds inciting trouble and strife. Hįrbaršr ( Old Norse for “Grey Beard” ) is one of those aliases that he used when he apparently met and abused the more popular god Žórr in disguise. Although it is never clearly stated that it is indeed Óšinn, Hįrbaršr is
also given as one of his names elsewhere.
I decided the logo itself might not be quite what I had in mind for the casket but there are a number of other creatures associated with him. His ravens, Huginn and Muninn, His wolves, Geri and Freki and of course his mysterious eight legged horse, Sleipnir. I decided they might well suit this project.
Time to work out the details of the design now.
I have seen many faithful copies of original artefacts which are wonderful pieces of work but when a dozen people at an event are all walking around with copies of exactly the same item, which would have been handmade and unique in it’s day, then the accuracy that they are striving to achieve is compromised somewhat in my opinion.
I prefer my work to be unique. Using the methods and style of the artisans who
made those originals, but not slavishly copying them. My work is inspired by but not identical to those original artefacts.