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Viking Crafts at Your Fingertips

Happy Summer Everyone!

Happy Posament Peeps

There are so many things to enjoy during the summer months. One of my warm weather favorites is hosting classes without the adventure of traveling in the snow and sleet!

We hosted a lively group June 7-8 at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis, MN for the “Viking Posament” Bracelet Class. This was an especially exciting class for a couple of reasons. 

Josephine Knot Bracelets

The mighty Handcraft and Foods Programs Coordinator Erin Swenson-Klatt approached me earlier this year to develop class curriculum to complement the upcoming “Vikings Begin” exhibit currently on view at ASI. I’d done some research on the historical use of the pewter thread used in my Sámi Inspired Bracelet Classes and was delighted to find records of gold and silver thread decorations in Viking graves in Birka, Sweden dating from the 8th-10th century.

The term “posament” refers to a type of decorative trim using metal wire woven into braids or knots resembling Celtic knot work. It’s speculated that some of the knots also resemble the knot work art created by sailors of today. Since Birka was a large trade center and the Vikings were masters of maritime travel, it’s possible the technique was influenced by these designs.

This past week’s workshop was particularly special since it was the first official offering or ‘maiden voyage’ of a new class! I always ‘test kitchen’ my classes on my friends before I develop a completed offering to the variety of our teaching venues. My students were super helpful in giving me feedback regarding what did and didn’t work. 

We began by practicing the triangular knot (sometimes called a “Viking star”) and “Josephine” knot using thick nylon cord. After everyone felt comfortable with the process we moved to using the same 0.35mm pewter thread I use in the Sámi Inspired Bracelet class. Students completed a bracelet using the “Josephine” knot style. The completed trim was sewn on to a reindeer leather strip and finished with a pewter button. A couple of sassy students (I’m talking about you two, Kim and Laura!) tackled a more challenging pattern incorporating both knot styles and the results were stunning!

Posament Practice
Sassy students

If you want to get more of your ‘Viking’ on, join me at ASI September 28, 2019 for my Viking Knit Bracelet Class. We’ll create a timeless fine silver bracelet design in the style of nålbinding fit for a queen or Viking warrior. Check our website for class dates and venues.

See you soon – skål!

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