This is my makers mark. It stands for the Crooked Path Forge. If I made it it'll have this mark on it somewhere. It's not a stamp, I cut each line with a chisel. Like a signature, you can always tell it was done by my hand, but each one is just a little different. The mark is made from 4 runes from the Anglo-Saxon futhorc. The first 6 runes of the Anglo Saxon Alphabet spell out futhorc, hence the name.
There's the full alphabet.
Each rune has a sound just like in our alphabet, but each symbol by itself also has a meaning.
I made whats called a bind rune, which combines two or more runes into one, to kind of blend the meanings of each symbol to roughly translate into the words "Crooked Path"
So I combined Year, and Ride, and, Tyr and Ash(as in the tree, but also fun because a smith makes ash in the forge). Here's where I start to use my own inspiration to interpret the runes(i.e. I'm just making it up)
The firsttwo runes I used meaning Year and Ride, I kinda figured could work for Crooked. Part of the Point of the Crooked Path, is that nothing has a straight line, and as your life takes you through the year, it's always full of ups and downs.
Path was a little tricky. I mean I could have used the Riding rune again, but I didn't want to. So I figured I wanted to hint at the destination of the path a little and so the Tyr rune worked pretty well for me.
There's a poem that is used to help remember all the meaning of the runes, it's kind of like the alphabet song, only for Vikings. In the poem Tyr's stanza is:
"Tyr is a guiding star;
well does it keep faith with princes;
it is ever on its course over the mists of night and never fails."
We may get a little mystical here, so deal with it. That spoke to me pretty strongly. Guiding Star, always keeping faith, coursing through the night and never failing. That all felt a lot like what I was trying to do when smithing, and also how I wanted others to feel about my finished work. Never failing.
Then comes the Ash rune. Well, ashes and blacksmithing is a no brainer, but the rune really points to the Ash Tree, otherwise known as the World Tree. It winds it's way through all the possible worlds tying them together with root and branch and stem. I couldn't think of a more crookeder path than that.
So there you go. That's what the runes mean.