|The Lyre of Lejre, original drawing by Petr Florianek & Peter Johnsson.|
In the past it has been primarily focused on bladesmithing and related ornamental techniques. The first one was simply live-streamed lectures, demos and interviews. In the following endeavor we filmed and live-streamed a blade being made from iron ore to gem-setting, and offered it up as a mythic mystery puzzle. For 2016 we created an elegant back-story, or should I say, Peter mostly created an elegant back-story, and we all made objects that could have been. That is, could have been found in the archeological excavations of Lejre, Denmark, home of Heorot, where Beowulf dove down and defeated the monster Grendel, more than a thousand years ago.
|The lyre bridge.|
As an object it's a wonderful symbol of the best of the world of men in the Beowulfian Age. It also offered opportunities for some metalwork- lost wax casting in bronze and gold plating. The objects themselves presented fantastic narrative potential for our back-story of Victorian archeology, long lost collections and misattributed discoveries: a set of lyre escutcheons discovered to match a sea apart, and an obscure drawing with a matching bridge and some very suspicious, and uncomfortably large dentition marks in evidence.
There are a number of lyres and lyre parts in existence, as well as some images- in wood and in stone. I took inspiration from all of them, and tried to create something that possibly could have been, but most definitively should have been. The shape is taken from the Cologne Lyre, found in a churchyard burial, as well as from some Gotlandic depictions. The escutcheons on the arms and the bridge inspired by pieces in the British Museum, and the soundboard holes by the Trossingen Lyre.
|The full Lyre of Lejre, reconstructed, based on multiple recently related finds.|