Rune carver school 
Find the stone

Where can I find a suitably stone for a rune stone?

Take a trip to the countryside an early spring and look along the edges of the fields. 
There, the farmer has put stones and rocks that were in the way on the fields.

Many of these stones are perfect for a rune stone, and if you ask the farmer there 
shouldn’t be a problem to take one of them. (If you are lucky you might find an old, 
unexplored rune stone from the Viking Age :-)

To look for your rune stone at a stone-cutting workshop is a guarantee for good quality.

Usually there is a quarry in the area with wild and unruly stones that can be perfect for a rune stone.

And when you are there you can ask for help with shaping your stone.

During the Viking Age, many stones were probably carved out from the flat piece of rock 
which has been shaped by oceans and ice ages. But you should only do this if the rock 
is about to be blasted for the building of a road or houses. In our beautiful nature, an 
interference like that would be like an open wound.

Bad granite is:

Granite that contains iron.
It gets rusty, the rust keeps the damp, the damp freezes in the late autumn, and blow your rune stone. You recognize that kind of stone by that the surface is "soft" and porous. Sometimes you can see the rust, but not always, because the iron that gets rusty could have rusted away long time ago. Take a look at the mountain around the stone to see how it looks like (if your stone wasn’t an erratic block).

Runsten Sö 139 har stora skador av rost

Granite that form layers.
Big, flat pieces are falling from this kind of granite. 
You recognize it if you knock on the surface and it sounds like an eco from the inside. 
From a really good granite it should ring!

Gneiss granite
This granite was pressed and drawn out before it became hard. That’s why it has long stripes of different kinds of minerals. Theoretical there should be gneiss granite with good quality, but I don’t recommend it, and if the tints are bright they will disturb the imprecision of your inscription.
Runsten Sö 140 Gnejsgranit.
Forget any types of stones that are blasted.
It is full of invisible cracks which 
can turn your rune stone into pieces.

Good granite:
Has no cracks, no rust, has even colours and doesn’t respond with an eco when knocking on the surface. The stone should have a ringing tone everywhere when you knock carefully with your hammer. If you have, or have had, a stone-cutting workshop in your surroundings, you are looking at the right place. 

A tip is to ask the workshop where they have put their unusable stones. Unusable stones are granite that has refused to split after the stone-cutter’s will (they have an own will). These stones are of the right quality and has very often wonderful shapes that are perfect for a rune stone.

Runsten U 190 är huggen i ren och finkornig granit.

Tricky granite
The granite at the beach.
Smooth and even like a white paper to the drawer. Take a look a few meters above the beach, where the stones aren’t newly grounded anymore. In Mälardalen they count with an elevation of the land with 50 cm in 100 years. If it rings from the granite and the surface is good above 5 meter, the granite on the beach is also of good quality.

Red granite
Red granite has got it’s colours from impurities, it cracks and crumbles and has very seldom a smooth surface that attracts a rune stone-maker. Don’t mistake red granite for reddish granite that could be a perfect rune stone.

Stones and blocks from glacial period
Be carfully, they have been transported from faraway with the ice and you never know from where.
Examinate the stone carfully!

Uppdaterad 17 januari, 2006 av Kalle Runristare All rights reserved, ©