Escaping Through Creating

March 15, 2017 , In: Inspiration, Metalsmithing

I am a life long maker and if I am not creating something I am not happy, But what I have also found is that the more hectic life is/the more stressed I get then the more time consuming/bigger my projects tend to be! So far in the last few weeks I have had to deal with, everything from my oldest child having scarlet fever and then the youngest having chicken pox to filming promotional clips for work, having to travel up to Birmingham for an over night stay and a scary interview (Did I mention I am a hermit that does not like traveling) and a million other little stressful things in between. So now was the perfect time to throw myself into an all time consuming project!

While I was in the charity shop I came across the cutest little book, The Book of Runes by Ralph Blum, A handbook for the use of an ancient oracle: The Viking Runes. My grandad always used to tell me he was a Viking, so of course I had to buy it and after reading just a few pages I had decided that I really needed to make a set of runes. But where to begin?

I had so many ideas of what I wanted to make my runes out of but I was drawn to this beautiful piece of wood. Perfect, I would cut out the pieces burn on the symbols and be finished!

No, way too easy and not very ‘ME’ so how to make it ten times more difficult and time consuming? I know, I will age the wood (by hitting it with a hammer around the edges), stain it with a dark wax, hand buff it to a beautiful sheen and hand cut the symbols from copper sheet (and somehow set them onto the wood)?!?

Of course when I had hammered and waxed the wooden pieces and cut out half of the runes in copper sheet I decided I did not like the copper it just did not look right so I had to start again but what to cut the runes from? 

Coins! I have lots of them laying around and six pence coins are meant  to be lucky, plus they are the perfect size!

Many, many hours later and feeling throughly immersed in my project, with very sore fingers (turns out sawing coins is actually hard work, but I am much more relaxed)! Now, how to join the coins onto the wood? This one took a few days to figure out.

I was going to rivet the coins in place but I did not want to see a rivet on the back of the pieces so I did a few test runs to see if I could solder on some copper wire and ‘nail’ the pieces into place and eventually I figured out how to do it. So I filed the edges of the coins and polished them to a high shine, half drilled my wooden pieces and hammered the runes into place and voila! Set of runes complete….

Now at the end of the month I have a huge black tie awards evening up in Birmingham in which I have been nominated so I am thinking I need to make a leather runes pouch to keep these in and some sort of wonderful book to go with it, all very time consuming of course! I would love to know if you create things when your feeling stressed? And if so what do you like to make?



Niky Sayers

Niky Sayers started creating jewellery 6 years ago after stumbling across a jewellery making blog while looking for a hobby. She is a stay at home mum with hermit like tendencies, a mild addiction to coffee and chocolate and a love of all things handmade or antique/rusty. While not raising her tribe she like to keep as busy as possible playing with metal sheet, wire and other treasures and trinkets all at her kitchen table in Surrey, England.
  1. Reply

    What a fantastic set you’ve made – my sister had that book many years ago! Now you’ll need to try them out 🙂

  2. Reply

    Just…. WOW! The subtle texture of the coins, the gorgeous wood, the ancient organic look…. They invite to touch them, they tell a story just by lying there, and the are beautiful too.

    So again… WOW! 🙂

    • Reply

      Oh, and to answer your question: If I don’t have any time, I am overflowing of ideas but when the stress is too high, I don’t have any energy left anymore to start them when I am home.

      It is a vicious cycle, since the more stress I have, the more I need to create to calm down… but at the same time the required amount of energy to start is increasing. As soon as I have started, it is okay… and calming, relaxing and even energizing… and the longer the break is, the more it needs.

      Strange, how rational I can see, reflect, and judge my own behaviour, still – not able to change it 😉

  3. Reply

    I have always been a Tarot card girl personally, and only lately have been feeling a little drawn to the runes. I decided I would make a set from porcelain – very me. Yours are not only stunning but so so ingenious. Nails!

  4. Reply

    And congrats on the awards nomination. And so sorry the littles are sick!

  5. Reply

    Sorry you’ve been having a stressful time, looks like you work well under pressure though, they’re gorgeous!!! And I do exactly the same… when I’m creating I just think about what I’m doing, nothing else. It’s a great escape!

  6. Reply

    Oh my!!! I want some of these beautiful runes!! What a great plan and execution of ideas. Your sawing skills make me very jealous. I am blown away. And yes!! Make the pouch to carry them. I know your leather skills are perfect so it shouldn’t be a problem. And congrats on your award:-)

  7. Reply

    Your work is beautiful! I have had that book and the companion “readings” book that goes with it for over 20 years. I have always been drawn to Runes.
    We live in a world with no shortage of stressors. Creating is a great escape but as I have immersed myself in my creative process it has become more of a spiritual connection than an escape. I consciously place myself in alignment with creating and become present in the moment. In those moments there is no stress…just the wonder of being.
    Create with joy!

  8. Reply

    Congrats on your award , Niky! I can’t imagine doing all that sawing but your end result is spectacular. Creating is my cure-all for everything!

  9. Reply

    What a wonderful creation! I love that you made them from coins. I have thought about making tunes from clay. You have inspired me to follow-through.

  10. Reply

    They are amazing!! Love your thought process in making them. I agree with the comment above, when I’m stressed, i NEED to create, but I’m too stressed and busy to do so!

  11. Reply

    They look fantastic, I just wouldn’t have the patience for all that filing… the end results are brilliant.
    I sometimes create when stressed but not always it depends on what I’m doing… Sometimes the creating can cause stress if it’s not going right ???

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