The Vikings – and their Creative Side
When you hear the ‘Vikings’, what images spring to mind? Warships approaching with fearsome figureheads on their prows? Groups of bearded men marauding through towns and villages bringing death and destruction? Rowdy evenings quaffing beer by firelight?
…Or artistic artisans carefully creating beautiful arts and crafts?
This summer, you have a chance to explore this less-celebrated side of our ancestors. Working with the natural materials they had readily to hand, their craftsmen created everything that society needed at the time. Pieces of wood became kitchen utensils under their skilled workmanship. Leather hides were tanned, treated and turned into shoes and belts. Clay was expertly moulded, glazed and fired to make pots and dishes. Antlers and bone became combs, handles and ornamental decorations, while lead, copper and iron was smelted and turned into tools, weapons and other objects.
A quick Google search for Viking treasures will give you an idea of what beautiful items these people could create. A visit to the jewel in our city’s crown, the Harris Museum, could also open your eyes to the produce from this period.
From June 15th to August 26th 2019, there will be a replica Viking house in The Harris Museum and Art Gallery. Here, you can have a go on the blacksmith’s forge – there’s a special area for children, too, to try these crafts. As always, there will also be a programme of themed events during the holidays – so why not come and see what you might have been doing had you been around one thousand years ago?
For more information, go to http://www.harrismuseum.org.uk/exhibitions/1554-fearsome-craftsmen-the-vikings-are-coming.
Words Irene of Starfish English Services (#StarfishForEnglish)