Forging Small Viking Age Knives
Ten centuries may have passed since the Viking Age, but the components of knife-making remain the same: fire, steel, skilled knowledge and effort, and the usefulness of a small pocket knife. This class will utilize traditional hand-forging techniques to produce small Viking Age knife blades typical of those found in the archeological record from 9th century Sweden. Over the course of the class, students will hand-forge high carbon steel into fully functional knife blades. Students will learn about handle materials typical to the Viking Age and will attach a wooden knife handle using cutlers resin. Students will then have the opportunity to complete a leather sheath as time allows. A rich archeological record of original knife finds exists from the Viking Age and we will study this period of time to guide the design and forging of our own blades. It is hoped that discussions of everyday life and work practices during this time will provide a deeper understanding of the importance of small tools such as knives to those who lived in Scandinavia during the 8th to 10th centuries.