Norse Knock-offs

A Multitude of Mendacious Mjolnirs

 

Here’s the first Thor’s Hammer pendant I did, back in 2009.

I feel I’ve done better ones since, but this one strikes a chord with people. Not a month goes by that someone from the internet doesn’t track me down and ask if I’m ever going to make more of them – preferably at about $20 apiece. I always say “No”. I made a big deal over my promise that I’d only ever make 9 of them, and I haven’t had time to rework the design.

But market forces are as immutable as gravity, and where the original is placed beyond reach they inevitably give rise to imitation…

Behold! My very first knockoff!

Awfully familiar, no?

Awfully familiar, no?

I was more surprised to see it than I was angry. It’s flattering in a way – confirmation that it’s at least good enough to bother stealing! I do wish the “artist” took a bit more care with his model and the finishing. It’s a painstaking copy in many ways, with some lazy knots slapped on where my original photos were obscure or where finishing a smooth section would take too much time.

Took a while to track them down – some are distributed out of NY, others from Sweden, some from Bangkok. I have a hunch they’re cranked out somewhere with cheap labour and skilled artisans – Russia maybe, China probably. The most honest distributor I spoke with told me that he bought his cheap brass copies on a trip to China – the least honest one (pictured) claimed it was his own direct copy of an archaeological relic, which is nonsense.

When I cast this pendant in 2009, there were very few decent hammers available at all, and nothing comparable in quality. Now that Vikings have become a mainstream fantasy, there’s a great deal more to see. Many of the higher-end pieces are quite good, from a technical standpoint anyway. There’s still a lack of innovation, a great deal of artistic laziness. Most pieces are either copies of dug-up originals – usually simplified to speed production – or adolescent fabrications that look like they belong in an issue of Heavy Metal. Very few seem willing to devote the necessary effort to creating new forms within the ancient styles, and far fewer seem willing to finish them to the appropriate standard.

Eesh.

Oh, I found another knockoff, of my Mk III in cheap brass…

 

 

 

 

But what’s wrong with my Mk II mjolnir? It’s not good enough to steal?! I’ve always liked it the best of the bunch.

Philistines…

My Work

Small Knives

Three small hunting knives, all 5160. From top, hafts are antler/cedar burl, Koa/Maple/Brass and Walnut with copper pins.

Heimdall’s Coffee Mug

A Viking coffee mug with Jelling motifs.

Surt’s Horn

An elaborate drinking horn, leaning toward Jelling motifs.

Oak Leaf Fireplace Doors

Copper and steel fireplace doors, to match and complete a 1920s marble fireplace. Some very simple repousse, modern and traditional forms.

Lacey Cross Monument

A large, contemporary Celtic Cross for a family memorial.

Mjolnir Mk III

Third in the series – a dramatically reworked, unlimited vorsion of the Mk I. Articulated wolf-clasps grasp the troth-ring.

Birch-leaf Fireplace Doors

Hand-forged in their entirety, from leaves to rivets.

Katana

Entirely hand-forged and polished – an exercise in patience. 11,000 layers of 1090/1040 steel kobuse-welded around a soft-iron core. Dimensions taken from a Kamakura-period Bizen. Fitted with a quilted-maple saya to reflect my western sensibilites.

Fenris Ring & earrings

Pieces commissioned to match the Mjolnir MkIII. More than 6 carats of black diamonds in matching finger- and ear-rings.

Colonial Fire Tongs

From a set of 18th c fireplace tools. Wrought with precision.

Walnut Chest

Small dovetailed walnut chest, with forged iron hardware from extant 18thc New England examples.

Mjolnir MkI

Sterling silver Thor's Hammer pendant. A significant pair of ravens adorn the face.