Viking u like

Posted by on Saturday, August 12th, 2006

No, I haven’t lost my mastery of English, or of spelling.

Some friends of ours have  a business called Viking U like.  We don’t get all of the guys every year, because they all live in Europe and do a much more robust business there at Viking re-enactment events.  But some assortment of the guys comes to our summer camp every year.  This year, we got Alban and Scott.

This is neither Alban nor Scott.  This is a painted buck skull, hanging from their tent pole.  What can I say?  I like skulls.

Right, this is Scott:

I didn’t get any decent pictures of Alban.  He was moving too fast.  He’s a really talented silver smith.

You wouldn’t know it to talk to him, but Scott is actually American.  He’s been living abroad for so long he sounds German.  Scott travels all over Eastern and Northern Europe tracking down artisans who work in lost arts.  He’s the source of the amazing silver lunik I bought last year.

And the great high holy Finnish elk antler spindle.  And my salt box.  And my birch boxes.

And many other really beautiful items that my friends have walked away with.   Scott knows craft, and is constantly forced to explain to Estonian and Polish and other artisans, in languages he doesn’t speak fluently, that their work is exquisite, that he wants to buy lots of it, and that they need to start paying themselves fairly.  He also really does his homework, so he normally has all sorts of great stories about his wares.

(I made that linen plaid tunic Bodwin is wearing)

Ignore the DHL box–they were still setting up when the masses descended.  I just wanted to admit to my serious, crushing tattoo envy.  Why isn’t that on my leg?

Unlike years past, I didn’t actually buy all that much from Viking u Like this year.  Instead, I came away with a lot of inspiration.  A few friends have been herding me towards studying and making Viking goodies.  And just look at the bar that’s been set.

No, really look at it.  It’s exquisite.  He’s finding some of the best felt I’ve ever seen.

But the thing that really floored me was the horto-bachi-bichkos.  I have no idea how that’s actually supposed to be spelled, but I know I have the phonetics correct.  I know because people would yell “horto-bachi-bichko” every time they walked past the tent.

Horto-bachi-bichkos are little rawhide boxes that are shaped on a last.  The lid slides up and down on the thongs on either side.  When they show up in graves, they’re generally attached to men’s belts, and they often have handy little items like small knives and flint and tinder sets in them.  A few that Scott had were particularly well made:

Tooled rawhide.  Who knew I would want to tool rawhide so badly?  So now I need a last.  I think I should start trying to bribe the wood-workers, so that when the last is made I still have all my fingers.

Filed in Celtic | 3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Viking u like”

  1. pixieon 29 Aug 2006 at 9:09 pm 1

    omg i want that felted bag!!

  2. Junoon 30 Aug 2006 at 11:25 am 2

    I can’t decide which is more freaking amazing – the felt or the rawhide.

    Stop trying to make me come on vacation with you.

    And what a great job – searching the world for beautiful things AND making sure the makers get a fair price.

  3. Garon 16 Mar 2008 at 7:45 pm 3

    This was the first hit i found googling Viking U Like. I met scott this past weekend, and have to say that the man is memorable to say the least. I was wondering if you had his email? I grabbed a Northan card, but thats not his.

    Be Whole, Gar

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