on 19th century Swedish scutching knife*
Pyrography, pastel and natural pigments: turmeric, oxide green, indigo; finished with flax seed oil. ~ 4x18”
*What the flax is a 'scutching knife'?!
Basically, it's an antique flax beating tool used to make linen. Flax is an annual herb of the Linaceae family, historically grown for its various food and fibre uses. The stems’ fibrous core is used to create linen cloth. A scutching knife is an old agricultural tool used for the preparation of flax in the process of making linen, by hand. This ancient wooden knife was used to break up the dry outer bark from the internal fibres. These traditional methods were commonly used for thousands of years throughout most of the Western and Eastern World. In Scandinavian countries, particularly Sweden, it was common practice to decorate scutching knives for presentation as wedding gifts. Most were painted in simple colours with rudimentary folk art over one side of the blade, usually floral in design. The knife symbolizes fertility and blesses the union with the promise of sustenance, health and a continued future.
This particular scutching knife was found in an antique 'loppis', or flea market, in the Värmland area of Sweden
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