Forge Viking Age Brazed Bells
This class will utilize traditional hand forging techniques to produce small iron bells typical of those from 9th century Sweden. Once the bell is forged the seams must be brazed securely to allow the bell to ring with a clear and bright tone. Students will use the technique used in Scandinavia during the Viking age to braze their own bells using a traditional charcoal fire. From the study of the Viking age settlement of Birka, Sweden we know that a blacksmith shop there was producing small brazed iron bells. These bells would have been valuable in the everyday herding of livestock, allowing the owners to keep track of their animals based on the ringing bells. During class we will also discuss typical daily life of the Viking age and review some of the original finds in the archaeological record. Students should have experience with basic hand-forging techniques using a coal forge.