A Special Feature for the Friends of UW Green Bay Viking House

You all are welcome to enjoy this blog which I hope will bring many of you to go and click to be a friend of our wonderful project.

Click and like – https://www.facebook.com/UWGBVikingHouse

Keep scrolling down here for all the fun movies.

Those of you who are already ‘following’ and may have been to events in the past will be pleased to see here a gathering of films and photos of our progress at the house.

Things are Happening at the Viking House.

This beautiful place has been awaiting us for so long. Many have asked and are interested in being actively involved. Of course the world has been in lock-down and the house is a very small part of that.

It is the time to start looking at what we can do to re-celebrate the place; to tidy and renovate and to decorate. We wish also to be able have things happen there.

What is the Viking house? There is a whole series of films and photos here in this blog about our house and our plans. Let us tell you now though that it is a rebuild of a house from that age and is in the grounds of UWGB. The university in Green Bay, Wisconsin is the home of this great feature. The ‘Jarldress’ or perhaps keeper of the house is Professor Heidi Sherman who is head of history for UWGB.

When I say that she is responsible we are talking about a budget-free situation. So anything that happens here is down to our Jarldress to make possible. For us to appreciate.

Who am I? And who are the others in the films below? There are lots of groups and individuals who are willing to take part and to arrange events. The three of us in the films below are volunteers.

I missed the house being open over the summer, for as well as wanting to help out, I miss being the storyteller for the house. Here now I can say I am just a volunteer though acting out of good will. I do happen also to be Professor Sherman’s husband which could be seen as an advantage or a disadvantage. We turn to her for guidance, permission and often for funding.

Trodin Hegn (Dwayne) and Di An are two other active participants with exciting hopes for the future.

Dwayne and I

Our Affiliations

Celebrating the Viking house will be timed nicely with the making of shields. Trodin is making shields for decoration.

Sigourney has designed a UWGB Shield image and we hope to be taking her two of Dwayne’s shields for painting. One with her design, and one with Dwayne’s (Trodin’s) own personal image (Sigourney will this be OK and fit in with your plans? – I would also love to see your other Viking design idea and see if we can use them in some way).

Dwayne and I have plans to invite gifts of shields and flags etc to show affiliations.

Njardarheimr Viking Town, Gudvangen, Norway

A Presentation Day will invite people to visit and make a gift as they walk through. This could be a decoration for the Hall made specially for the day or a ‘blessing token’ selected on the day.

We will have selection of tokens to pick from; simple things such as stones, beads and feathers and we would be glad to hear from people who wish to make or offer decorations suitable for the Viking ages such as tablet weavings or utensils. While arranged outside folks can talk about the donations and the work of others.

There are of course severe restrictions and we will plan within these. IE masks must be worn, people must gather with six feet apart in the area of the Viking house and then parade through the hall slowly with a maximum of ten people in there at any one time. This will include the presenters and hopefully a small film crew.

Six feet apart

(Dress for the weather.)

Example of inappropriate attire

This event is planned to take place on Saturday October 3rd A provisional date. from one o’clock onwards. We will publicise once it is confirmed but for now please ‘pencil’ it in and start thinking ahead. Exciting times.

Let us know that you are interested.

As for those affiliations, this will be groups or festivals which we have connections with. We will be glad to hear from you about connections we have with you. To date we are approaching five different groups we have affiliations with.

As Skald to the Chieftain of Njardarheimr Viking Town in Gudvangen, Norway I will be approaching my chieftain (my blood brother) for a flag of the Njardarheimr symbol. No, I will ask now – Dear Georg is it possible that you could arrange us a flag of the town or a banner for the town for our display? I will be glad to pay if needs be.

Da Boss

I am also a member of The British association The Vikings through their group at York University; Vanaheimr. I am a member of this dynamic group from the university and will be asking them for a flag or banner for us to display. I will ask them now too. Dear Jarl please could you arrange a symbol of our affiliations?

I serve Vanaheimr

I say hi to Tim Jorgenson of Viking Connections, the coordinator of Viking events for The Historical and Cultural Society for Clay County.

Tim I am pleased you are ‘cogitating’ upon the idea of sending us an affiliation item. We will be displaying our pride in connection with River Ravens upon our hall walls in the near future I hope.

I interviewed Tim for a project I was involved in prior to the Covid catastrophe. Here is the interview. Although almost everything was cancelled for all of us in 2020 I am hoping that most of the things mentioned will reappear in a new guise in 2021.

Stop Press – I’ve chatted to Tim and we are saving a space for a shield and he will be making us one especially later in the year.

Hello Adrian,

My present title is “Director of Viking Connection,” although I’m also known as a general coordinator of various Viking events in our region, as well as a hobbyist blacksmith and woodworker. Viking Connection (www.vikingconnection.org) is an outreach program run by the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County, Minnesota (HCSCC).  We are housed in the Hjemkomst Center, in Moorhead, home of the Gokstad Viking ship replica Hjemkomst, that sailed to Norway in 1982. HCSCC also interprets a Hopperstad Stave Church replica, a reconstruction of the Viking-Age stavkirke still standing in Vik, Norway. Viking Connection is a natural extension of HCSCC’s on-going work to preserve and present Viking-Age folk art in the Midwest.

We invite artists specializing in the Viking Age crafts of Scandinavia to teach and tour in the states of ND, SD, MN, IA, WI, and the UP of MI. We also offer an apprenticeship program to send dedicated students from the Midwest to study their chosen craft with a master artist in Scandinavia. Lastly, we offer a database of international artists interested in networking with each other.

Together with fellow Minnesotan, Kyle Jameson, we started a Viking living history group called, “River Ravens” (www.riverravens.org), largely as a way to have a name for our group when we are hired to provide an encampment, crafts, or entertainment for events in our area. We joined up with UK-based, Regia Anglorum because we really enjoy the authenticity policy they have in place, their research, and their continuous efforts to stay up-to-date with recent archaeological findings. In all, we participate in between 5-10 events annually, the largest being North America’s largest Scandinavian festival, Norsk Høstfest, in Minot, North Dakota.

[Sadly the next paragraph covered plans which were cancelled due to the Covid thing, so I have cut the details, but I am sure there will be another exciting program in 2021 with a Viking skill being brought back to share around festivals and events here. – Ade.]

One of the exciting things to look forward to in 2020, is the Viking Connection apprenticeship. Each year we send a student to Scandinavia to learn from selected artists with the goal of learning new skills or advancing pre-existing skills with a Viking Age craft.

I’m continually being contacted by different organizations interested in creating Viking Age events, or adding a Viking presence to a broader-themed event, so keep an eye on the River Raven’s and VC websites for 2020 opportunities.

Tim

Thank you Tim.

Visit the site for The Historical and Cultural Society for Clay County…

https://www.hcscconline.org/

Here is the River Ravens site…

https://riverravens.org/

We had a wonderful visit to Balagard the Viking age Finland festival in Hancock, Michigan. A great town and a great festival. This is a bi-annual festival so the Covid epidemic probably wont be an effect and then this exciting event will be back in 2021 as planned.

Toby of Balagard was saying to me about the idea of links between groups and how it would be good to have a story linking each shield or item to the group it was from.

I ask now, ‘Hi Toby, can I ask if it is possible to have a shield or item representing your group for our house in Green Bay?’

Here is their FB page – https://www.facebook.com/Balagard-Viking-age-Finland-304102503794434/

The Viking House, University Wisconsin, Green Bay. New era feature.

So yes, my wife Professor Heidi Sherman, as well as being head of history for UWGB, is also the Jarldress for the Viking house. I have never thought of this before, but, wait for it, what does that make me!

Answers on a postcard please.

She has created many events and developments around the house but of course it has all been on hold this year. We are just starting to get the place going again.

There are many who volunteer to help keep the place going and I have been along with a couple of good pals recently to make a start. So here is a feature on the place.

Welcome.

Dwayne is making a shield with his own design on for the display with our collection. We are hoping for donations from other groups and other individuals (you) of samples of their craft.

My groups shield from York University’s Viking group Vanaheimr.

A group planted Hops and I wanted to capture them flourishing so they could see what a good job they had done. Each year they will get more and more prolific.

Raised beds were in lock down.

You can tell the fire pit hasn’t been used in a while.

We need a clear out or a hiding place.

Ideally there shouldn’t be anything modern on view if someone comes to take a photo. The oven needs its cover though to protect all Dwayne’s hard work and we remove it as soon as an activity is preparing.

I can’t wait to get that oven going again and get some cooking done. We are still limited on events of course. Let us look ahead though.

The current wood pile is mainly stuff which was too long for our stove at home, so I guess we will soon get through it and be looking for more.

This is the John

I am thinking we could cut some of the buckthorn to make our little fence out of.

Ah apparently the hawthorn is an invasive so we can cut as much of that as we like.

The box fence is our next project. We are hoping for a bit of help, and to have it finished before the decorations day.

Just down the slope from us is the Frisbee-Golf

The grounds are beautiful

Owen and Elspeth are the lovely couple who made all of this possible.

I haven’t met Harry, but we are all very grateful that he found a way to make a difference to our Viking heritage here at UWGB.

(I would like to know a little more about the cookhouse too)

Maintaining a Viking House can be a Hornet’s nest

We came back again and had a bit of an inspection;

Sorting.

The full team inspection

The Parking situation

UWGB wildlife

After we left today we passed a few Heron, they were standing close to picnickers by the river and I was surprised at how tall they were. I guess at nearly five foot, Dwayne tells me they can reach six foot. The Heron not the Turkeys, or we would be having a good Thanksgiving.

Flax drying will make an interesting addition to the decor.

Then we could process it ready to spin into linen thread.

We have plans for wool too. Insulation.

The return and this time we are equipped.

We needed refreshing.

Refreshments were created by team host Jarldress Sherman

I will catch that frog

Gorrit

Let us be-strim

This is why we were here.

And we got the job done, well Dwayne did.

What’s next boss?

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For sale on Bandcamp my amusing yet informative history of the Itchin bridge.

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For sale on Amazon my very first book, The Cakes and Tea Collection – a mix of short stories and poetry.

On the US Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08FP5NLLK

On the UK Amazon – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08FP5NLLK

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Click and like – https://www.facebook.com/UWGBVikingHouse

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My blog; some Viking shields – https://adrianspendlowblog.com/2020/03/11/some-viking-shields/

Living in America I

Viking Travel Course – Part Two – Becoming a Viking

Viking Travel Course – Part Two – Becoming a Viking 

Welcome to part two of my personal log of the exciting adventure of being part of the team for the UWGB Viking Travel Course. Yes, this time we will look at Becoming a Viking.

I am supplying links to all things Viking, including links to Njardarheimr Viking Town and all the places of interest along our route.

(Visit UW Green Bay Viking House on Facebook to find out more about the course.)

I am also going to include help on how to dress like a Viking and in particular on making your own clothes. In blog three I will be interviewing my good friend from Viking Connections Tim Jorgensen. He will be telling how we can team up with their Viking Apprentice to learn more about working with Viking fabrics.

You will want to shop around for some things, in particular accessories, so here first are the links for shopping (NB not included in the budget). You can buy materials and patterns, you can commission people, you can acquire jewellery, hats etc; here’s the shop links…

Oh no, first a mention on boots. You might want to buy Viking boots, you might want to wait till you get there and learn how to make your own, but in the mean-time let me tell you that new comers are allowed a little leeway when it comes to authenticity in the footwear department. If you have some simple plain boots which are not too noticeable you will be fine. You can always send us pics for a chat.

Back to apparel links…

Outfit Contacts

We will be hearing from Steph Anderson, the Viking Apprentice for 2020, who is going to be undertaking apparel masterclasses in Sweden and we hope to arrange facetime with her.
Sophia Helen offers ready-made, or patterns, or to be someone to run workshops
Sophia Helen – https://www.facebook.com/waffleandwood/
Toni DB says, if anyone is looking to buy; etsy.com/nineworldsclothing has some nice wool goodies for the Norwegian weather.
etsy.com/nineworldsclothing
https://www.facebook.com/toni.db.7
Leah O’Cuinneagain says, I can send links for patterns, but otherwise I too am happy to make clothes if students would prefer 🙂
Leah coordinates the Viking group for York university and would be happy to help with enquires via – Vanaheim Vikings York on Facebook
She also hand-makes authentic clothing via – https://www.facebook.com/HafurtaskCrafts
Karin Byom – nailbinding for gloves and hats etc, also tablet weaving supplies and happy to advise on all things textile – is based at Njardarheimr and can run courses there – https://www.facebook.com/karin.byom
Ann Asplund says, I’ve got some patterns – what about a skype session where I could help people draft their pattern with their own measurements? Plus with one session helping them take their measurements.
https://www.facebook.com/AnnOther-Day
http://www.annotherday.com/
I am told NilleViking Glæsel has some patterns
https://www.amazon.com/Viking-Clothing-Garment-Nille-Glaesel/dp/1494475227
https://nillegraphic.myportfolio.com/work
http://vikingageclothing.susannabroome.se/booklets/http://vikingageclothing.susannabroome.se/booklets/
vikingageclothing.susannabroome.se
https://www.facebook.com/swanhildassweets/ – for authentic life path jewellery.
Jelling Dragon are very well known for all things Viking – https://jelldragon.com/
Valhallas Silver are a great company – and they visit Njardarheimr – https://www.valhallassilver.com
A search showed up – https://grimfrost.com
Bruni Bear is an expert in nailbinding, she is also an authenticity officer for the BBC – https://www.etsy.com/ca/people/BruniBjarnja – (She is also on Facebook)

We will be learning skills and making things when we are there, and there is a great shop in the village for jewellery etc.

Visiting Vikings – Lots of links Relating to Njardarheimr Viking Town, Gudvangen, Norway
https://www.visitflam.com/activities/the-viking-village-njardarheim/
https://www.visitflam.com/ – top attractions
http://njardarheimr.com/ – including freeman application and guidelines
www.vikingvalley.no/
www.facebook.com/vikingvalley/
https://www.visitnorway.com/listings/viking-village-njardarheimr/200194/
Market footage – https://youtu.be/aB5-lu-lZnU
https://www.facebook.com/njardarheimr/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/gudvangenvikingmarket/
https://www.facebook.com/VisitingVikingValley/
https://thevikingdragon.com/
https://adrianspendlowblog.com
valkyrja.com – Viking blog
A walk around Gudvangen – https://adrianspendlowblog.com/2019/09/03/your-name-in-runes-plus-the-greatest-hits-of-my-gudvangen-commentaries/
Information from my travels –https://adrianspendlowblog.com/2018/12/07/visiting-viking-attractions-an-idea-swap-first-draft/
A 12 blog tutorial on being a storyteller – https://adrianspendlowblog.com/2018/04/01/storytelling-is-1-the-introduction/
A guide to re-enactment – https://adrianspendlowblog.com/2017/10/03/lh-living-history-characterisation-tips-for-re-enactors-2/
A Viking –https://bull-hansen.com/blog/
Slow TV Trip Across Norway – https://thenextweb.com/video/2016/08/04/norway-slow-tv-netflix/
Good, simple, overview of the Vikings in Norway – https://www.visitnorway.com/things-to-do/art-culture/vikings/
Borre and the Midgard Historical Center –
https://www.followthevikings.com/visit/midgard-i-borre
https://vestfoldmuseene.no/en/midgard-viking-centre/visit/
UW Green Bay Viking House – https://www.facebook.com/UWGBVikingHouse/
North Star Vikings is a Minnesota based Viking Age Reenactment group located in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Metro area focusing on the later Viking Age (approx 900 to 1066). – https://www.facebook.com/NorthStarVikings/
Applications and enquiries;
Chat to the team at UWGB for final details, (I am just an assistant) – here’s the email for Professor H Sherman, shermanh@uwgb.edu

And the link to the first blog in this series Viking Travel Course – Part One

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Viking Travel Course – Part One

Viking Travel Course – Part One
I am thrilled to be part of the team taking a group from University Wisconsin to Norway for a Living History course where we will develop skills and deepen knowledge in a sharing and encouraging way. the group of Students, graduates and others will be traveling from UW Green Bay in the US of A to Norway to visit Viking sites and live as Vikings in a recreated town.
The students will be reporting via blogging, vlogging and social media as part of their course, as will the team, so this is the start of my personal contribution looking at it all from the point of view of the storyteller.
How did I come to be part of this, some might wonder? Those of you who know of my work and travels will not be too surprised at this development; I am Skald to the Chieftain of a Viking town. As a full-time storyteller I travel widely, especially in the Upper Mid-West of America and in Norway. It is through these travels and performances that I have become part of things at the Viking Hus in the grounds of UWGB.
We are about to start recruiting students to become part of this adventure and hope to be taking up to 20 of you along with us. Who are we? Professor H Sherman, Head of History, UWGB, Katie Walkner, Professor of History, UWGB Manitowoc (and myself as Instructional Consultant). We are lucky to have Jemma Lund, Assistant Director of Study Abroad as part of the team, she will be the ‘Michael Collins’ to the ‘Buzz’ and ‘Neil’ of the lucky two instructors who will be heading off to walk the Viking way; Jemma will be coordinating from the UWGB end of things.
The students will each create a Viking outfit to take along and will learn and demonstrate a skill from a selection offered.
Our journey will be mid-May through to mid-June 2020 and the itinerary will be something like this…
Fly into Oslo, Norway to visit the Ship Museum, the nearby Folk Museum and to include the stave church there. We also plan to visit Viking Planet before heading off to Borre to be guided around the burial mounds and the Midgard Historic museum. A picturesque train journey over the mountains will lead us to Bergen to visit Hordamuseet and then a further journey of train and ferry will lead us deep into the Sognfjord for our stay in Gudvangen. Here in the Viking Town of Njardarheimr we will live as Vikings.
Freemen, Freewomen and crafters there will offer skill training in a wide variety of topics so that each of the students will learn at least one craft or skill and will then demonstrate for the many visitors. We will be active participants in all the shared experience of Viking life there, this will include events and activities as well as time with the Chieftain, the ‘Skald’ and other guides.
Future blogs will include useful links to creating your own Viking gear plus an on-line guide to all things Viking. Stay tuned for details and photos of the many skills you can learn and discover how you too can contribute to the development of Viking Valley.

For further details contact shermanh@uwgb.edu
Take a walk around our town (The link includes how to play Hnefatafl too)

Click here for Viking Travel Course – Part Two

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Saying Thank You

Your donation of $3 will encourage me to continue in my creative efforts.

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Nordic Story Workshop – tips and prompts

Nordic Story Workshop – tips and prompts

nordic bardic

These are handy little prompts if you are wanting to create Viking stories. I was invited along to the Manistique and Wequiock rooms of University Wisconsin – Green Bay by the local wing of the Society of Creative Anachronism to run a workshop. In this activity we thought of aspects of childhood – then what you do is select and imagine they are about grown-up Vikings. Simple statements become something else entirely when you think this way. Try it…

erica skald

Endless energy – Playing checkers – Don’t know their limits – What’s mine is mine – and what’s yours is also mine – Stick weird things in their mouth – Run fast – Capacity to become good beings – Not careful about anything – Hugging kitties – Short attention spans – Always listening – Voluntary insomniacs – Laugh evilly for no reason – Always busy or active – Always destructive – All about them – Doesn’t remember what you just said – Fight their siblings for the sake of fighting – Breaks everything – Selective hearing – Fight siblings – When they ask to see something, they need to hold it – Tries new things – Wild imagination – Balloons – Very perceptive – Inquisitive – Cuddle with mum – Talk incoherently for hours – Hold your hand – Watch with me – What’s your is mine, what’s mine is mine – If it is shiny it is mine – If I see it or touch it, it is mine – If I break it then it’s yours – Make necklaces and jewellery – Very creative – Break down crying – I like blue – Abusive sociopath – Pretending to sleep – Eating lots of yummy stuff – Love – Eat only what you like – Frustrated angry poop face – Ride – Speaks their mind – Constantly learning – Love for destruction – Grounded – Tells tall tales – Great imagination – Roll into the wall – My little pony – Draw on things you shouldn’t…

You can learn further with this blog string; a whole series on being a storyteller – Storytelling is… #1

at the house

UW Green Bay Viking House

v hus

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Saying Thank You

Your donation of $3 will encourage me to continue in my creative efforts.

$3.00