Last Wolf has taken a back seat to my life recently. Work, family, illness, lots of things conspire to distract my focus for lots of different reasons. Social media fatigue is a real phenomenon; sometimes I’ve just had enough. A re-setting was clearly needed. Perhaps then this is the best time to consider roots and beginnings before pushing momentum forward.
Roots are important. I believe everyone has many, and they go beyond the genealogy/family tree type idea. Have a think and see if you can find a few related to your own life. An example; do I have a love for guitar based music, particularly heavy metal, because of my early fascination for the bands my parent’s liked such as Queen and Status Quo? You can bet your cowboy boots that the root of that particular obsession comes from Queen’s Greatest Hits 1 and the Rockin’ All over the World tapes. The roots of a tree aren’t that obvious, yet mine, and concurrently Last Wolf’s are plainly visible.
As a brief aside, I wonder if this is connected to my continued use and fascination for the Odal rune. Odal, or Othala, meaning heritage and tradition, family or homeland, is my favourite rune. It is also known as Odin’s rune, the god whom I have a particular fascination for. Odal is also in my top four Wardruna songs.
But back to roots; we shall not be mentioning the polarising Sepultura album. Recently I shared a photo on social media of what to expect when you make a purchase from the Last Wolf shop. The point was to highlight the recyclable packaging and how items are processed from this one place. The photo was taken at my desk, an antique that belonged to my father in law. Although it looks different than when he last sat at it 20 something years ago, I hope it still resonates with a similar work and creativity that it did when he was alive. You can see his copy of the Declaration of Arbroath on the wall as well, though the Jamison’s is mine. He was teetotal.
Last Wolf began life here, years ago, in the smallest room in my house, surrounded with books and music, sitting at my father in law’s desk. It was here that I studied Pictish, Celtic and Viking age art far more closely than ever before. This has been a lifelong interest; I had written on these themes at school in the mid-90s, and I began to reproduce images by the process of pyrography onto what I called wedges of wood. These wedges were hand sawn by me from branches I found that had fallen during storms or from walking in nearby woodland after some cutting had been done. I called it locally scavenged.
Once my own cuts were made I then had to sand them so the surface was smooth enough to burn the image onto it. It was very time consuming and though they sold well, it was never financially rewarding; but that was never the point in the first place. The items were sold on Etsy under the name Last Wolf Crafts and I took part in a few craft fairs in Fife which were good fun.
Last Wolf was born in this environment. Its beginnings were in art, in creating; me in my room and in my head listening mostly to folk music and black metal cassettes. I returned to that room to look for how to move forward, and I started by recreating one of the most popular pieces from Last Wolf Crafts, the Kelpie. Things move on…expect more.
Currently listening to: Darvaza
And the new Carcass album cause I should be watching them at Damnation festival right now!