Bone Carving Art
Viking inspired carvings in bone, horn and antler - Ukraine
Hello. I am Roman. My art is an integral part of my life. I carve bones, horns and antlers, mostly Viking style. I especially like working with the antlers and horns because they are discarded naturally by the animals every year. We find them in the woods. The largest bone I have worked with is mammoth bones and tusks. In general, I can carve anything, but not all carving brings me pleasure and inspiration. The Viking history interests me and inspires me. The core of my work is based on Viking mythology and symbols like Odin, ravens, serpents and other characters. I also make knives and other accessories.
My city has more than a thousand years of history and I was always interested in its past. It is a small town in the west of Ukraine called Volodymyr, one of the few ancient cities of Volyn. The name of this city was given in honor of its founder Volodymyr the Great – Prince of Novgorod, Grand Prince of Kiev, and ruler of Kievan Rus’ from 980 to 1015. (Read about its history here.) The city is still called Knyazhim, since those ancient times, when there were fortifications, majestic churches, and jingling bells.
As a child, sitting on the bank of the river that flows through the city, I saw something brilliant shining up from the ground. This was my first find – a gilded medal from the 1800’s. Since then, I have looked at the washed out shores and in the water hoping to find something interesting. I was rewarded many times! Since the river was not deep, it was possible to explore and I found various things from different periods, from the Stone Age to modern gold jewelry.
After graduating from school, I started studying archaeology, including underwater archaeology. At the same time, I professionally engaged in restoration and preservation of iron weapons of the VIII-XIII centuries (swords, axes, spearheads and arrowheads, maces, etc.). I collaborated with local museums, preserving and replenishing their collections.
I had natural drawing talent and experimented with various fields that explored historical topics and creations of replicas. I also tried several techniques in creating jewelry, but when I started carving in bone, I was able to express myself fully and I like it very much.
I have been carving for more than 15 years now and have sold my work to people in many different countries. I am very happy that I can share my art and my products far beyond my own country. Each new design is a challenge. I love everything about my work. I wanted not only to study history but also to create it, to leave something good behind…
Visit his shop on Etsy: www.etsy.com/shop/BoneCarvingArt
Oksana, his wife, manages the shop, so if you contact them by email, you will probably communicate with her.
(I just had to ask Roman if he had watched The Vikings and what he thought of it. I liked it a lot, especially the first season…)
Yes, I watched the TV series “Vikings”. Since I studied the cultural materials and weapons of this period, I can say that there is a lot that is not true, from weapons to clothes. In general, there are very few historical films that would accurately convey all the details of the period about which the film is made. When I see a movie where a warrior is waving a hammer that resembles a huge box, I want to turn it off immediately.
I asked Roman how the war affected his business.
The war had a great impact not only on business but also on life as a whole. In one moment, all the plans I had made and thought about were destroyed. However, life goes on, so you should not put it on pause. Every period ends sooner or later…
This video shows a bit of how Roman works on a carving.
Memento Mori and Vivere
The two sides of the one life:
Memento mori (Latin: “Remember that you have to die.”) is the medieval Latin Christian theory and practice of reflection on mortality. Especially as a means of considering the vanity of earthly life and the transient nature of all earthly goods and pursuits.
Memento vivere (Latin: “Remember you have to live.”) Know that your time is short in the grand scheme of things. So have fun while you are here.
Shop on Etsy: www.etsy.com/shop/BoneCarvingArt