Authentic Viking Shield Handle Decoration
 
Inspired by a find from Trelleborg , Denmark, I carved this ornament into the handle bar of the Viking shield that I am currently working on. The original found in 2010 was not a completed shield, no boss had been mounted to the board. So I took the liberty to extend the original decoration over the full length of my grip.

Ash has always been the preferred wood for handles, hafts and poles. Alas, I had a piece of beech in appropriate length and shape lying around in my workshop, so I gave it a try. 

I used tools from an engraving set that I had picked up at an arts supplier many years ago. I first scratched and then carved the decoration. Finally, I emphasized the contour lines with a mix of oil and pulverized charcoal from our fireplace.