East Kingdom Wiki: https://wiki.eastkingdom.org/wiki/Tiffan_Fairamay
This project explores the historical context of the hanging steatite lamps found in the Viking age farming settlement of Jarlshof, in Shetland, as well as my own experiments with their manufacture and use.
I relied mostly on a carving knife and small chisel to shape pieces of steatite (soapstone), also employing a wood hand saw, file, hand crank drill and bit. Carving the lamps took care and patience, and getting them to hang evenly from the two holes was the trickiest part of the process. While using the lamps, I found that cod liver oil with a twisted flax wick burned cleanly and brightly, and that even 2 teaspoons of oil would burn for more than an hour.
These lamps have captured my imagination since I was young, and this project has provided a fantastic opportunity to deepen my understanding of the place they are from and people who made them. I have a whole new appreciation for the unique nature of the Jarlshof site, and am left with so many new questions about the people who lived there and the things that they made.