The magic and Pure Alchemy of Iron

Cold Chiseling Runes Gallery

Katala spelled in Elder Futhark. Chiseled pre hardening.
Typically a Runic engraving on a blade served as a name tag and name of the blade itself . The blade above is named “Katala” it is an Athame or Witches Dagger. If I had the blade for myself  I would have written “Katala”  Hröð owns me” naming the blade and owner. So if your setting out to cut Runes this is a good start for having something in mind when you begin.

Athame: A tool used by a Witch, Sorcerer or Shaman for various energy practices and rituals. Done in Nordic style with chiseled Runic marks.


Recycled Wrought Iron with Visigothic influence. ATHAME.


Wrought Iron Athame with Chiseled Runes.


Wrought Iron Athame with Antler handle.


Recycled Steel: Wroughr iron Athame with brushed finish.Cold chiseled Runes. Heat Steel to orange and allow to cool fully for best result.


Hand stamped Runic engraving. (Cold chiseled in to steel while still soft)

The most important trick to cutting Runes is being very relaxed and realizing that most Runic engraving are very freehand. This is not latin script so please by all means be creative with your engraving and try a nice organic format. It will end up looking truly authentic. Any High carbon steel tool that makes a perfect vertical line will do nicely for chiseling and remember to soften your steel before attempting. Runes are combinations of straight lines for this exact purpose of cutting them into metal, wood and bone.

4 responses

  1. good morning…i am enjoying reading your blog. I am visiting via a thread on esty

    October 10, 2011 at 9:00 am

    • .

      Thanks, I am very glad you like it, I hope it gives some insight on smithing =)

      October 10, 2011 at 10:57 pm

  2. Stanley Peters

    Nice work. Is the chiseling/engraving done during the initial shaping of the work while it’s still soft from heating BeFore the tempering and hardening steps? I have practiced some smithing at the foundry where i worked making cloakpins. I have rough iron blanks for blades. I want to do well making my first few times. If i gift them or sell them. They should satisfy the person using them. Be pleasant to look at, simple in design, yet functional.

    May 23, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    • .

      Yes the chiseling is done after shaping but while the steal is still annealed. It is then oil or water quenched and ready to role. In some cases I like doing the final edge sanding after heat treat so it looks super crisp =)

      Thanks for the comment, good luck with your projects!

      May 24, 2012 at 7:08 pm

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