In Honor of the Last Viking Invasion

950 years ago, two battles took place that mark what most consider to be the end of the Viking Age. In September 1066 at the battle of Stamford Bridge, an English army under King Harold Godwinson defeated the invading forces of the Norwegian King, Harald Hardrada, and his ally, the English king’s brother, Tostig Godwinson. By battle’s end, both Hardrada and Tostig along with most of the Norwegians lay dead on the field.

prow-sneak peek

Although Harold Godwinson repelled the Norwegian invaders, his Saxon army was defeated in turn by the Normans at the Battle of Hastings just a few short weeks later. Ironically, the Normans (or “North Men”) who ultimately emerged victorious were themselves the descendants of Vikings, so it could fairly be argued that, while Hardrada lost, the Norse ultimately did succeed in conquering all of England.


To celebrate the Viking Age and the sea kings who left their indelible mark throughout Europe, on this 950th anniversary I am offering NINE of my Viking Prows at FIFTY dollars off through OCTOBER 14, 2016. The proceeds from these sales will fund my first official bronze edition in 2017 so you’ll not only get one of these prows at a great price, but you’ll be helping me expand my studio to include .





Bracing for the Maelstrom

June ended on a wonderful note when the Fountain Square Art Festival honored me with the first place award for “Best in 3D Mixed Media & Sculpture.” This was my first show in Chicago as a sculptor and it was great fun to spend some time in my favorite city again.

Since returning home, I have been hard at work preparing for my most ambitious month yet – four shows in four weeks. Apart from all the production, I will also be unveiling a new piece at one of the shows.

So, for those who would like to see my work in person, here’s where to find me over the next month…

Tomorrow I leave for the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, July 14-17. Sunshine magazine ranks this 4-day event the top juried art show in the USA and I am honored to be one of the showing artsts. You’ll find me in BOOTH B-39



Two days after returning home, it’s off to the Ann Arbor Summer Arts Fair. This was one of the most enjoyable shows I did last year (not to mention the largest), and I highly recommend it to anyone in the A2 area July 21-24. You’ll find me in BOOTH 275 on Liberty and Main)



Next stop will be the Huron Valley Arts Festival. This one-day event (July 30 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm) will pack a lot of art in just 7 hours. (You’ll find me in BOOTH 3)



Finally, August 6 & 7 will find me at Fine Art at the Village. This two-day event is in Rochester Hills and, for those in the area who are not able to make the Art & Apples show in September, this is a great opportunity to see some art in the Rochester Hills area. The fair takes place amidst a high-end outdoor shopping mall (You’ll find me at the South end of the fair by the Whole Foods at BOOTH 6)


I hope to see you at one of these shows.

~Aric Jorn



Free Trade from the North

With such a good start to my year, I want to thank all those who follow me and collect my work – both in the USA and around the world – with a rare promotion. For the entire month of June, all domestic orders (of $150 or more) will ship for free to anyone who follows my studio online. International clients will receive an instant $25 shipping reduction at checkout.

Regardless of how you choose to engage with my work – whether through my blog or on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or ETSY – your support and patronage is what allows me to continue sculpting and I sincerely appreciate your support.

To take advantage of this offer, simply follow one of my accounts (and if you’re reading this, you probably follow one already) and use the codes below at checkout on my ETSY store:

Domestic clients:  VikingShip2016
International clients:    VikingLongShip2016

Skål !!
~Aric Jorn


The Wolves of Ragnarok

A year and a half ago,  I created Odin’s Raven’s: Hugin & Munin. I greatly enjoyed working with a pairing of mythological creatures who were not only significant to the time and culture that created them but who’s wisdom still rings true today. So I’ve decided to follow it up with another powerful duo from Norse mythology, the Wolves of Ragnarok: Skoll and Hati. Just as Odin’s Ravens are a symbol of curiosity, awareness and the thirst for knowledge, The Wolves of Ragnarok are a symbol of endings, reminding us to live life while we can.


Wolves appear in many mythologies but nowhere are they more central than in the ancient Scandinavian tradition and few events in Norse myth are as central as Ragnarok. It is the end of the world (literally “Twilight of the Gods”) and several wolves play key roles in the story.

So, who are Skoll and Hati?

Skoll and Hati are massive wolves who run through the heavens chasing the sun and moon. When Ragnarok is upon the world, they will catch their prey and swallow them whole, marking the end of the world we know and paving the way for a new world to begin.

However, this sobering image is not as bleak as it appears at first glance. Consider that the Norse gods know Ragnarok is inevitable – it will come no matter what they do – and when it comes, they too will cease to exist, pulled back into the chaotic void of Ganungagap from whence our universe was created and to which it must return. Yet they do not allow this fact to stop them from working hard to delay it, building up their world, finding joy, love, honor and adventure, engaging in everything life has to offer. In this sense, the symbol of Skoll and Hati as harbingers of unavoidable doom stand as a reminder that all things end and that we should use every moment we have on earth to the fullest.

About the art

This layered relief is created from four separate castings using cold-cast nickel silver, brass, copper and stone. Patinas, stains, inks and/or paints are applied and the individual pieces are buffed to bring out highlights. They are then assembled, clear coated and mounted in a black, glassless shadowbox. Wolves of Ragnarok: Skoll and Hati is limited to 150 signed and numbered pieces and is available here. I am also reserving a small number of matched sets that will include Odin’s Ravens and Wolves of Ragnarok with matching edition numbers.


Digging a little deeper into the story of Skoll and Hati…

The Eddic poem Grímnismál has a few passages that refer to Skoll and Hati. Here is the one that inspired me to create this piece (translated into English):

Skoll is the name of the wolf
Who follows the shining priest
Into the desolate forest,
And the other is Hati,
Hróðvitnir’s son,
Who chases the bright bride of the sky.

It is worth noting that “Hróðvitnir” (loosely translated as “Famous Wolf”) refers to Fenrir, Loki’s son. Fenrir is the enormous wolf who himself will be the death of Odin at the time of Ragnarok. It is therefore Hróðvitnir’s (Fenrir’s) children (Skoll and Hati) who will swallow the sun and moon. There is some dispute among academics as to which of these celestial wolves chases the sun and which the moon, and there is an interesting article on this dispute to be found here.

So, take the message of Skoll and Hati to heart and seize life while you can.



Spring (Show Season) Has Sprung

I began my Spring show season this past weekend with the Great Lakes Art Fair in Novi, Michigan. It being my first indoor show, I wasn’t entirely certain what to expect – but, Michigan weather being what it is, I ended up being quite thankful to have a roof over my head. Even so, I managed to get thoroughly soaked in freezing rain during “load out” when a misbehaving dolly with four bins of packing supplies and tent parts decided to tip and I was left scrambling to get everything back onto the dolly while I still had feeling in my fingers.

Mishaps aside, the event proved to be a great way to kick off the season and I was honored when the jury awarded me second place at their “Best of Show” ceremony Saturday night (banner photo is of myself and the event’s director, Jackie McMahon.) Prize money and fancy ribbon aside, the most meaningful thing to me is the knowledge that my work is connecting with patrons and fellow artists – that’s the .

As it stands, I’ve purposely kept my spring schedule light so I can concentrate on sculpting a few more pieces in time for the summer lineup – which is booked solid. So, the two shows I will be doing in May/June are:

East Lansing Art Festival Logo

May 21-22, 2016, I will be returning to one of my favorite spring shows in Michigan, the East Lansing Art Festival. Live music, good food and a ridiculous amount of high-quality fine art awaits the 70,000+ people who annually attend this event.


June 25-26, 2016, I will return to my home away from home (Chicago) and participate in the Fountain Square Art Festival in Evanstan, Illinois. For three decades, Fountain Square Art Festival has won acclaim as one of the most prestigious art festivals in the Midwest. It’s the largest and oldest juried fine arts fair on Chicago’s North Shore and I am delighted to be a part of it.

So, if you will be in the area for either of these shows, please stop by, see some great work by artists from all over the country.

Arts Illiana Gallery pic

Lastly, as a reminder, the CROW SHOW will soon be in its final week and will close on April 22.



I Have Been Involved In A Murder

Yes, it’s true, and I am not alone in bringing this murder about. In fact, there were dozens of us who contributed to it and, since no body will ever be found, I feel safe in admitting my involvement publicly on this blog. What’s more, I am inviting everyone who reads this post to witness the murder for themselves. It is taking place in Indiana – Terre Haute to be more precise – and it all begins tonight.

Now, before you reach for your cell and start dialing 9-1-1 to report this murder, perhaps I should explain…

Arts Illiana Gallery

Tonight, the Arts Illiana Gallery is unveiling The Crow Show, a juried exhibition running Feb 5 through April 22, featuring crow-themed work from artists in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. And, as we all know, a group of crows is referred to as a murder.

Crow Show

I was invited to have my “Odin’s Ravens: Hugin & Munin” relief in the exhibition and am delighted to have them in the collection especially as I am only a couple weeks away from releasing the second piece in this series. They (and all the other work on display at The Crow Show) will be available for sale throughout the 3-month event.


Now, I know someone is bound to write in and say, “but, Aric, Odin had ravens, not crows,” so allow me to set the record straight. The term “crow” is used for an entire family of birds (Corvidae) that includes the raven species. To put it simply, all ravens are crows but not all crows are ravens, making The Crow Show a perfect place for Hugin and Munin to roost.

So, if over the next three months, you find yourself in a drivable distance from Terre Haute and have a free afternoon, I encourage you to stop by what promises to be a very unique exhibition of dark avian art and witness the murder for yourself.

~Aric Jorn


Indulging My Inner Geek

I hope you will forgive me for getting my geek on as I am about to do. Although I rarely discuss my early influences, I find on this particular occasion, an irresistible force compels me to do so.

In 1977, I saw Star Wars on the big screen and my eyes were immediately adjusted to what storytelling could be. I was eight years old and knew at that moment I would be an artist and a storyteller. Up to that point, my imaginary worlds were mainly inhabited by dinosaurs, army men and matchbox cars – fueled by reruns of Lost in Space, the original Star Trek and Godzilla movies on Saturday afternoons. While these certainly offered fuel enough for my overactive imagination to work with, Star Wars gave me blasters, light sabers, an evil empire with incredibly cool costumes, aliens, dogfighting starships hurdling through a galaxy far, far away and … the force. All these things were revealed through a story that seemed vast, deeply satisfying, strange and yet somehow familiar.

Darth Aric and Princess Cassie

I was obsessed with the universe that Lucas had created and wished I could live there in the way many people now wish to live on Pandora (the world of James Cameron’s Avatar). I collected the action figures and dressed up as Darth Vader for Halloween (that’s me, dueling with my friend, Cassie, who obligingly agreed to go as Princess Leia.) Being an industrial designer, my father made the costume with which I won a city wide contest, complete with prize money and a photo op with the mayor that ran in our local newspaper. The lights of the chest plate blinked, the dome of the helmet was sculpted from Bondo with about 20 coats of auto-grade glossy black paint … it was truly awesome.


Like so many artists of my generation, I credit the experience of seeing Star Wars for the first time with jolting me awake, opening my imagination in the same way a stick of dynamite would open a pop can – mind blown. Since that day, the Star Wars universe has offered me a wellspring of inspiration – but it did more than that. Wishing to understand how Lucas came up with his world and the story that so engaged me, I began looking into the things that inspired him, hoping one day that this would lead me to create a world of my own. I learned that he was drawing on two of his personal interests – history (especially World War II) and the works of Joseph Campbell (professor and author of many books on the comparative study of world religions/mythology including Hero With A Thousand Faces and The Power of Myth). This got me interested in these areas and lead me ultimately to the historical, cultural and myth-based art I create today.


The prequels came out when I was an adult and like most who grew up with the original trilogy, this return to Star Wars left me disappointed. I hated several of the characters (like Jar Jar), plot points (midi-chlorians) as well as the over-use (and in some cases oddly ineffectual use) of CGI. I also found the humor in these new scripts agonizing. Consequently, I wrote these new films off as “written for children” and wondered if my adult mind was simply immune to the magic of future Star Wars films. This never really rang true however and I hoped one day there might be something new worth celebrating in the Star Wars universe that could make me feel the same exhilaration I had felt as a child.

leia - disney princess.jpg

So, when I heard that Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney, I had intensely mixed emotions. I felt betrayed by Lucas who started out as a rebel director fighting the evil empire that was the American film industry only to forge his own empire – now ultimately to sell that empire to an even larger one. Simply put, he had started out as Luke and was now Darth Vader. Facebook memes showing Leia Organa as “the next Disney princess” made my stomach turn. On the other hand, I felt cautiously optimistic that Disney would find a way back to the original Star Wars universe I loved.


Successfully avoiding all spoilers (I only allowed myself to watch the official trailers), I walked into the IMax 3D theater with my wife and daughter a few days after Christmas without a clue what to expect.


So, what is my reaction to seeing The Force Awakens? I want to call director, J.J. Abrams, and the producers at Disney/Lucasfilm and thank them for breathing new life into the muse I have drawn on for as long as I can remember. It is good to see Star Wars alive and well again after its long hibernation and I look forward to many more films exploring the far reaches of that galaxy far, far away.

-Aric Jorn


Reflections, Ambitions & Gratitude

Before I get swept up into the full-on-crazy of the new year, I want to take a moment to thank you all for your support, to look briefly back on last year, and to share a few of my plans for 2016.

As we all know, when the economy is tight, it is not easy to survive as a small business owner … and harder still if that small business is a fine art studio. So what about a small fine art studio focused on breathing new life into mythology and the stories of ancient cultures? Yea…

Despite the narrow niche I have carved out for myself, 2015 was a year of remarkable growth for my small studio. Online sales rose 300% over 2014 – add in sales from art shows and it was closer to 500%. Of course, percentages are relative and the sizable expenses involved in running a successful studio still present a challenge moving forward but I am confident that if this upward trend continues, my studio will be making art for many years to come. So, whether you added one of my pieces to your wall in 2015, engaged with me at a show or online, or simply told a friend about my Web site, you have my deepest gratitude.

blog-banner---PBS-SHOOTHighlights of the year just past are many. I kicked off 2015 as a featured artist on, Detroit Performs, PBS’s Emmy Award-winning television program that interviews artists in the Greater Detroit area.

In March, I resigned from The Henry Ford where I had been working as a pottery decorator and historic presenter. This move was made to allow me to devote a larger portion of my time to growing my own studio. Before leaving, however, I was featured in another episode of Detroit Performs alongside many other fine artists from THF’s Liberty CraftWorks and that episode can be found here.Etsy-Banner-Jivotica-3
Around this time, I also had the opportunity to work with a gifted photographer and dear friend, Donna Kert, of Life In Focus Studios, who spent an entire day photographing my work. You can see an article Donna wrote about the experience along with a nice sampling of images from the shoot here.

In early June, after a litany of delays (problems with a new silicone rubber used for my molds and a bad batch of resin), I was finally able to release my Viking Prow sculpture – just in time for the summer art show season. By year’s end, my first international sales of the Prow had landed in Europe (England and France) along with the first dozen sold here in the U.S. For those who might have missed the teaser video I created for the prow, you can find that here.

In July, I received “Best of Show” at Art on the Grand in Farmington Hills which was an unexpected honor considering the high level of talent at that show. Over the course of the year, I also made several appearances on Fox2 News (Detroit) representing the artists of  Art Birmingham and the Birmingham Street Art Fair.

Finally, there was the wonderful parade of people with whom I was fortune enough to engage – exchanging stories, ideas and laughter – and that is ultimately why I do what I do.

So, what are my plans for 2016? If fate doesn’t throw too many curve balls my way, I intend to release six new pieces in the first half of the year (about one a month) and I will be unveiling the first of these in February. I also plan to launch a few projects through Kickstarter later in the year. I will post more on this as things develop, but they may include a few extremely limited edition bronzes.

While I will still be doing my favorite Michigan shows, I plan to branch out geographically with shows being considered in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois and Minnesota. I further plan to grow my social media presence substantially. This includes a much-needed update to this site, a commitment to weekly blog posts, some YouTube videos, expanding my ETSY store and a couple giveaways/contests for those who follow this blog.

2016 is the year I hope to make Jivotica my sole focus – and it is only through the continued support and patronage of those who follow this blog, buy my art on ETSY and seek me out at art shows that this will be possible. So, if you know anyone who might enjoy my work, please share it with them.

With warmest wishes to you and yours for a happy, interesting and productive New Year.
~Aric Jorn



Viking Prows: Setting Sail

It has been extremely exciting to see my VIKING PROW: COILED SERPENT come to fruition after kicking around in my head for several years – and what a joy to hear the response from collectors and fair goers who have brought it into their homes and offices or stopped in to discuss them with me over the summer art show season.

This piece became available in June (after several frustrating production delays). Now, only five (5) remain of the initial batch of twenty and these will be the last ones available until after the holidays. So, if there is a deserving Viking in your life, you can claim one at prow-batch-2015

For those who may not know about this piece, it is a tribute to the mighty sea kings of ancient Scandinavia (the Vikings) whose reach extended from Constantinople to North America and from the Arctic Circle to the Mediterranean Sea between the 8th and 11th centuries. It is modeled after one of the most famous archeological finds in Scandinavian history – the Oseberg ship. The piece seeks to capture a sense of the majesty, mystery and artistic flair of ancient Scandinavian culture.

My VIKING PROW: COILED SERPENT weighs about 3 pounds and stands roughly 16 inches tall. It is strictly limited to 95 signed/numbered castings and a handful of artist proofs. Each piece is hand painted, weathered and sealed (so no two are exactly alike). It comes with a signed COA/story card as well.

Many thanks to all those who have commented on – or purchased – one of these Prows. Your support and patronage is what drives me forward as an artist and allows me to make a living doing so.

~Aric Jorn


Last Stops: Late Summer Show Update

Back in June, I announced the summer art fairs at which I would be showing this year. The booth numbers had not been assigned at the time, so, as several people have contacted me about it, I will give the updated information here. If you’re looking for something fun to do over the next two weekends, here’s where I will be…

1j-art-and-applesSEPTEMBER 11-13
Nestled in a beautiful 30-acre wooded park (the Rochester Municipal Park to be exact), the Art and Apples Festival is a joy to walk through, divided in two by a winding stream. Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, it consistently ranks among the top 30 fairs in the country with 290 artists engaging with 200,000 visitors. I’ve walked this fair as a visitor in the past and am overjoyed to be participating this year as one of its artists. (You can find me in BOOTH #107.)



I’ll wrap up my summer show schedule with Common Ground’s Birmingham Street Art Fair. Celebrating it’s 41st anniversary, this show (along with the Ann Arbor Street Fair) is of special personal significance because it is one of the shows I grew up attending when my mother was active as a fiber artist. Now, as an adult and working artist in my own right, it is wonderful to find myself doing the very same shows I remember from my childhood. (You can find me in BOOTH #101.)

If you do decide to attend one of these shows, be sure to stop be and say “hello.”

~Aric Jorn