Saturday, October 08, 2005

What I did on the full moon

Yes, I know the full moon was some time ago now. Even longer ago I gathered clay from our front creek, hand milled it (it was amazingly pure but I did get some rocks out of it, and I didn't get some smaller rocks out of it), hand rolled it into a slab, dried it to "leather", hand cut it into pieces, hand shaped and smoothed those into just a slightly feminine shape (I called it hour glass but poetic husband said it was like a dog bone), hand cut runes into each piece.

Non-runesters might be asking what the heck runes are. Basically an ancient alphabet that is also a divination system. I think that's a simple enough explanation. It misses a lot of subtleties, as you might imagine.

So anyway, the runes dried to greenware and then, on the full moon, we did our version of pit firing them.
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As you can see, we used our cast iron grill. Those are the runes there on the bottom. We fired it with increasingly large pieces of wood (all hand gathered deadwood) for about four hours. Since I didn't have a kiln with which to drive off the chemical water, I was hoping to do that as well as I could with old fashioned fire.

The next morning we went out into the soft morning air, stirred the still warm ashes and took out still warm runes.
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Isn't it interesting how red they turned? I was very pleased with how they turned out actually, and I was surprised that none broke or even compromised in the firing process. Runesters may recognize that I don't have an entire set pictured. Somehow I turned Amish-like and didn't want my runes, the ones I made for my own use, to be captured and blogged so these were part of an extra set. I did seal them with linseed oil.

Fate is neither kind nor perverse -- it is all in how you ride the runestreams. Surf's up.


madcapmum said...

This is beyond cool, taking your own mud and making your own runes. I think I might flatter you by imitation and try some sort of variation on the theme myself.

the Contrary Goddess said...

oh yeah, it was and is totally cool. I was psyched when I found the vein of clay (while doing "streambank restoration" in the early early spring). I've got another set waiting engraving (or whatever) -- and I'll smooth them more than I did the first. Which is another great thing about making things -- how you change them each time.

hazel said...

and the ones you make yourself are especially powerful! amazing and beautiful. congratulations.

madcapmum said...

Do you have any great websites to check out where I could learn more about this?

the Contrary Goddess said...

Nice to see you Hazel! Yes, you can't buy magic.

And MadCap, do you mean about runes or about making them? I don't have any faves marked or anything. Edred Thorsson is probably the top name in runelore but he's not horribly accessible. Most serious runesters will dismiss Blume but I'm not so sure he should be dismissed and he is accessible. But of course books are only a start.

Anyone who hasn't checked out MadCap's song for her husband, make sure to listen in on her blog! It is wonderful!

madcapmum said...

About runes in general, I'd say, since you've given me a great how-to about making them. But I'll take a look in my library online catalogue for the authors you've mentioned.

And thanks for the plug, but I'm still a little blushing. I feel like an exhibitionist!

dragonfly183 said...

THose look awsome :). i was wondering what you had planned for that white clay

Anonymous said...

Its been a LONG time since I've seen a "futhark". Mine are hand carved from wood. Some blood spilt, sticking my finger by "accident" here and there.

That was long ago in time, close in memory when I see your runes. It's a nice set, too. May they augur well.

Anonymous said...

Sorry - I am just scrolling up here, and find myself in oerfect alliance with the Goddess regarding Srs. Thorsson and Blume.

Thorsson can get very deep.

the Contrary Goddess said...

cool thingfish! recognizing futhark