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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Viking Age Bead Making - at Goderich Celtic

On Saturday August 4 and Sunday 5, Neil Peterson (of DARC) and myself will be demonstrating Norse glass bead making techniques. The presentation will run roughly 1 PM - 4 PM, as part of the activities inside the Earth, Air Celtic Festival in Goderich Ontario.

For information and directions to the Festival web site.

Neil and I will be actually continuing our experimental work with Viking Age charcoal fired glass furnaces, based on artifact evidence largely from Ribe, Denmark. This has been an ongoing research and practical skills development project largely under Neil's leadership.

This will be a departure from what you have seen me do at the Festival in the past. In previous years, I have been illustrating proven techniques, which often have a historic basis, but generally I have been using modern tools. The focus is often towards the production of a finished object.

Here the stress is on experimental archaeology. The methods, even the exact tools, used by ancient Norse bead makers are not well represented by artifacts. The furnaces are represented only by flat base plates, no intact upper portions have ever been found. There is a LOT of guess work and trial & error involved!

So come watch us work - its sure to be an adventure. New discoveries can be made at any time!


  1. this does not tell me how they was made :( next time add how they was made in the VIKING times

  2. This was just a note to let people know about a demonstration. If you are interested in more details on Viking era beads click on the "beads" tab at the top of the page. It will take you to pages that show images of viking beads, images of us making beads, and videos of some techniques, and more images of the various furnaces. Enjoy your research.