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Viking Era Carving

Course Overview

The 1904 excavation in Norway of the Oseberg Viking ship revealed a vast array of woodcarvings, unlike anything seen previously. Dragon-like head posts, elaborately carved sleighs, an exquisite wagon, and of course, the carvings on the ship itself revealed the extent of the imagination and skill of woodcarvers in the 9th century region of Vestfold, Norway. Instructor Jay Haavik has spent years studying and replicating the carvings of the Oseberg ship and has vast knowledge of the tools, techniques and motifs of this long-ago world. This five day workshop will be an opportunity for beginning as well as practiced carvers to experience the pleasure of making carvings inspired by the Viking age. Beginning students will spend the first day learning basic carving skills, including practice using knives, gouges and chisels, learning about grain direction, sharpening, creating smooth surfaces, and of course, safety, and then will make one or more simple, yet demanding, projects in Viking style. Experienced carvers should understand grain direction, and be familiar with using gouges and knives, and with sharpening tools. Experienced students will have five days to work on a larger-scale project similar to the figure-eight “Dragon” image, which includes deep relief carving with the surfaces decorated with the “diamond” cuts as found on the Oseberg ship carvings.

Registration for this course closes on September 6th (or when full)


Wed, Oct 2nd, 2019  –  Sun, Oct 6th, 2019

Course Details

Length: 5 Days
Skill Levels: Beginner to Advanced
Hours: 9am-5pm
Intergenerational age: 14+
Registration Cost: $500.00
Additional materials fee paid to instructor when class starts: varies ($25-$65)

Required Tools

You will need the following tools for this class:

  • Pencil
  • white eraser
  • a plastic “see-through” 12” ruler

For the beginning students the following tools are required:

  • 1S/20mm (05V95) #1 sweep skew-cut chisel
  • #2 sweep 12mm (#05B08) #2 sweep gouge
  • #3 sweep 12mm (#05C07) #3 sweep gouge
  • #8 sweep 7mm (#05F03) #8 sweep gouge
  • 3mm wide, left, skewed spoon gouge (#05L16)
  • Optional: #05L19, right,skewed spoon gouge

You can obtain these Pfeil Swiss-made tools from Woodcraft (the series numbers are from the Woodcraft catalog print and online. (

For the advanced project a variety of gouges ranging from #2 to #8 sweep, with widths of
7mm to 12mm would be helpful. Also the following:

  • A straight knife: The Japanese convex carving knife from Lee Valley (#60D04.03) is excellent. (
  • #1 straight edge chisel (single bevel) 25 or 30mm (#05V04 or #05V06)
  • #1 skew 20mm double bevel (05V95)

You can obtain the Pfeil Swiss-made tools from Woodcraft (the series numbers are from the Woodcraft catalog print and online. (

Optional Tools

  • leather strop
  • personal sharpening equipment
  • mallet
  • gooseneck lamp

Any other carving tools would be helpful. 

More Information

Once registered, students will receive a confirmation email with further class information. Please call us if you haven't received it within 24 hours.