The drinking of ale was particularly important to several seasonal religious festivals, of which the Viking Scandinavians celebrated three: the first occurring after harvest, the second near midwinter, and the last at midsummer. These festivals continued to be celebrated after the introduction of Christianity, although under new names. As well as being used for ale, bowls were also crafted for certain ceremonial practices and feasts. Feasts played a major role in Norwegian society and were a way to exhibit the hosts’ wealth; the more ornate the bowl was relevant to the wealth of a person. In the legend and myths of the Norse gods, feasts usually ended in bloodshed as the person to receive a portion of food first, was revered as the biggest hero and thus received a ‘hero’s portion”. Of course anyone who thought they were more of a hero than the one who was nominated for the “hero’s portion”, could challenge this, usually to a fight to the death. Being that most of the gods, in their own mind, thought of themselves to be the greatest hero, many gods were slain in the dining halls of Valhalla over the hero’s portion.
I wanted to carve a universal bowl and ladle, that could be used for all applications as well as creating a good looking piece of art that could stand alone without any function other than to serve as art. The Dragon Bowl and Ladle were hand carved from alder, painted with acrylics, and an oil and wax combination for preservation. The wax is meant for food dishes and is a bees wax, although I wouldn’t recommend actually using these pieces for conventional use.