This is a guest post by an illustrator Marina Zabrodina. She also works with wood and knows a lot about its metaphysical properties. I've certainly learned something new from her story. I hope you would enjoy it as much as I did!
Hello all! My name is Marina and here is my story about the runes that I've made.
My customer ordered me runes made of poplar wood, as that wood was mentioned in her druids horoscope. In my humble opinion that was not the best wood if we needed to consider its metaphysical properties. We discussed that issue, however the lady decided to go with the poplar wood still.
I cut a poplar tree branch and left it to dry. The branch diameter was 3 cm. I knew it was going to shrink a bit when dry. The drying process took about one month. I removed the bark and found that the wood went red. I did not expect that!
I saw off 25 circles about 6 mm in thickness. Next step was the grinding of the future runes. That was a hard work as I did it by hand using my files and sandpapers. I went and got a dreamel after this work!
By the way, the poplar tree is considered to be an energy vampire-tree. It is not as bad as the spruce tree, but bad enough. Well, maybe it is ok if it is considered to be fortunate according to one's horoscope.
It was not fortunate for me, that's for sure! Everything went wrong after the first fife runes: my file fell out of my hands, then I filed my fingers, then the runes themselves started to run away from me into the furthest possible corners. Of course there was a possibility that I just got tired ;)
Then we checked how the runes would look like when treated with linseed oil. I did not want to cover the runes with varnish, as the runes wood need to touch the skin for the better effect. I still wanted to give some natural treatment so they would last longer and stay pretty!
The rune to the left is oiled and the rune to the right has no treatment. The poplar wood is almost white. The oiled poplar wood looks more like pine wood. It went lighter in color when dried. The customer agreed to go with the natural oil treatment.
The next step is to burn the signs onto the surface with a pyrography pen. There were 24 Runes that included the Elder Futhark plus one "blank" rune called Odin's Rune. Burning into the poplar wood proved to be a hard work! It was a lot easier to burn into the walnut or pine wood. I was happy with the result, though, so was my customer!
I hope you've learned something new today!