AJE Component of the month, Blog Hops

Component of the Month Reveal – February

It’s reveal day for the Art Elements Component of the month. This month will be our last one which is sad, we’ve had some amazing components and great fun designing around each others creations. We’re not giving up on challenges though, next month we’ll switching over to theme based challenges open to all mediums… exciting!! 

But back to February… for our final component challenge we were treated to a stunning copper rune from Niky Sayers. I’m in love with everything that Niky makes. Her work is unique and beautiful and these little runes are no exception. I chose mine from a lucky dip last month when the UK members travelled down to London to meet up with Jenny. I was dithering over what to choose and Niky suggested to just pick one from her bag and this is what I drew… It arrived a couple of weeks later in this gorgeous card.

Name: unknown. Phoneme: P. Meaning: unknown. 

I liked the description of ‘a secret matter’ and it set me off thinking about what it could become. I thought I’d be brave and try out something a bit different.

This is Tina… Tina Turner, and she’s fantastic! She’s a bit scary, but I’m slowly getting the hang of wood turning and have been making beads, pens and other small items. She lives on my Grandad’s old work bench… his surname was Turner which I think is a lovely bit of serendipity! 

The plan is to build up to making sculpture bases and incorporating wood in to some of my ceramics. But that’s for the future, at the moment I’m still practising.

I had a rummage in my stash of wood blanks and one of them looked just right to make a small box. A perfect vessel for a secret matter! 

The wood is spalted beech. The colouring is from fungus which grows on dead or fallen branches. It travels along the branches and marks out it’s territory. The black lines are a barrier to protect it’s area and each fungus alters it’s patch by changing the PH of the wood which changes the colour of each section. When the wood is processed by kiln drying, it kills the fungus and stops the decomposition of the wood, but left to thrive, the wood would eventually rot and go back to the earth…  fascinating stuff! 

So armed with my visor and big girl pants, I rounded the blank and cut it in two to make a lidded box. 

The pieces were separated and cut to make a top and a bottom with a mortice and tenon lid. 

After sanding I applied a coat of linseed oil to bring out the colour and pattern and marked where the rune would fit. I carved this section out with my dremel using a burr bit.

The rune was set with Epoxy resin and I added a garnet stone in the lid to fill in a hole where I hadn’t quite turned it down enough. Finally, the whole thing was given a coat of beeswax and buffed. 

It’s far from perfect, but it’s the largest thing I’ve made to date and I’m quite pleased with how it turned out. I haven’t decided what I’ll put in it yet, but it will probably be a secret! 

Thank you to Niky for her wonderful component, I’ve really had fun with this challenge, I hope you’ll join me in the blog hop to visit the rest of the team and guests and see all of their wonderful creations! Links are below…



Kelly Rodgers

Deb Fortin


Art Element Members:

Laney Mead

Lesley Watt

Caroline Dewison  << You are here

Jenny Davies-Reazor

Susan Kennedy

Cathy Spivey Mendola

Jennifer Stout Cameron

Claire Fabian

Lindsay Starr

Niky Sayers



12 thoughts on “Component of the Month Reveal – February

  1. OMG I cannot believe the talent in this group . I see now why you have changed the monthly challenge to include all media. This wee cachepot is adorable , (actually more sophisticated than adorable.) I love spalted wood. I have wood-turner friends and those pieces are always my favourites. I have my dad’s lathe in my basement but I’m too chicken to try to use it. I’m hoping my hubby will give it a go and then I might get up the courage to do so as well.
    A Lovely vessel to showcase Niky’s Rune.

  2. OH MY GOODNESS!! Your talents are endless. I had no idea you possessed woodworking abilities. This secret box it amazing. The colors and patterns are just perfect for the rune. Well done!!

  3. WOW! This box is BEAUTIFUL! Such a unique idea for your rune – you did the rune AND the wood justice – love it! So great that there has been so much variation on what people have created for this hop! Also – Tina Turner…that made me giggle out loud – SO funny!

  4. Our new challenges are going to be so awesome if you’re bringing something this different to the table every month!!! This is so cool Caroline!!! I can’t believe it!

  5. Wood was an excellent choice for this rune, as well as a “cup” itself. Viking games of chance were often made of wood and the rune poem speaks of playing. There is a debate about the etymology as the word is similar to a word for pear wood. Pear wood was used by the Vikings for instruments, but was rare and unlikely to be used for game pieces. In a larger context this is about birth, life, and fate. My understanding of this rune after studying with an Asatru group for a few years, it that it is because of free will and external constraints that things may not be knowable at this time. This is a rune that can help you figure out what is important and help you face your fate with the cards you are given (your skill, will, and interactions with others–who you tie your wyrd to). This is not a rune of the unknown so much as the rune of playing one’s destiny. Admittedly, I tend to focus on the Icelandic and Norse runes because the Anglo-Saxon rune poems are Christianized. Anyway, I love your piece!

  6. That’s fascinating… Thank you! I had a read around about the meaning and most of the descriptions were conflicting. It’s good to hear from someone who has studied.

  7. There are no words for how beautiful I find this piece Caroline! I love the wood and that the rune is inset into it, I am always amazed to see where your creativity leads you! Thank you so much for joining in! X

  8. I am stunned! I love the look of the wood pattern and it is such a perfect fit for the rune! And the idea with the garnet is fits wonderful with the wood and the rune. I am so curious to see what you will create with wood turned pieces and ceramics combined!

    We also have a wood turner in our makerspace but I am not motivated enough to try it since I still have so many other ongoing projects (or rather UFOs…). My ideas/wishes were simpler: I just thought it would be nice to have either basic nice shapes to create ceramic molds off or directly have ceramic mold. Somehow I prefer using wood stamps and mold over plaster.

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