By Jan-Carel Koster

The question

A student association asked Jan-Carel if he could make their mascot FENRIR for them. And preferably in wood and on the wall, a bit large and impressive, please. Of course Jan-Carel can do that for them, these kinds of things in which he can add a lot of detail are his specialty.

Technical Information

Material:  Olive Ash
Origins:  The Netherlands
Source:  Fallen Ash tree

The tale of Fenrir

Fenrir (or Fenrisulfr or Fenries) is the (middle) son of the God of Deception Loki and the female frost giant Angrboda. He is the brother of Hel, the goddess of the underworld, and Midgardsorm, the Midgard serpent. Fenrir was neither man nor god, but resembled a small dog when he was young and Odin took him to the Asgard where the æsen, Odin’s followers, lived. All predictions said that Fenrir would become a problem for the æsen. He developed into a huge wolf with terrible jaws and was considered evil. Moreover, not only was he strong, he had also inherited Loki’s cunning. Finally he even dared to threaten the æsen.

At one point he had become so unruly that the gods plotted among themselves to tie him up. The Lœðing chain was first tried, but it broke. Then a chain twice as strong was brought in, the Drómi chain, but it too was too weak.

Finally, Odin sent Freyr’s messenger, Skírnir, to the svartalvene (black elves, also called night elves) to have a special necklace made. This should be so strong that not even Fenrir could break it. It became a very fine necklace, the Gleipnir, which was as slender and soft as a rope made of silk. Gleipnir was made from six ingredients that no one can find today: the breath of a fish, the beard of a woman, the saliva of a bird, the roots of the mountain, the sound of a cat’s paws and the tendons of a bear.

The æsen trapped Fenrir on the small island of Lyngvi in Lake Ámsvartnir (Pitch Black). They made a bet with him: Fenrir claimed that he was so incredibly strong that they wanted to see proof of it. They would tie him up and Fenrir would have to break his bonds. If he didn’t succeed, he was so weak that they wouldn’t have to fear him – and would let him go.

Fenrir, however, had little faith in the æsen. He demanded that someone put his hand in his mouth as “collateral.” Only Týr, the god of war, dared to do this. Týr placed his right hand in Fenrir’s mouth and when the wolf could not break through his bonds, he bit off Týr’s hand as he tried to break free. As a result, Týr lost his right hand. Gleipnir’s loose end, Gelgia, was thrust through a large stone, Gjoll, which was fastened deep into the earth. With the enormous rock Thviti, Gjoll was driven even deeper into the earth. Fenrir snapped at the æsen, and they thrust a sword into his mouth with the point up so that he could not bite. His drooling created the river Ván (hope).

Only at the end of the world, during Ragnarok, will Fenrir be released and killed by Odin’s son, Vidar, who will avenge his father.

rojo alicante

Olive Ash

Olive ash wood is characterized by distinctive patterns and colors resulting from the beetle infestation. The wood often exhibits shades of gray, brown, and olive green. The patterns are created by the beetle larvae as they create galleries beneath the bark.

The wood for FENRIR was sourced from a fallen tree.


Are you interested in having a bespoke artwork made for you? There is a wide variety of possibilities, from type of wood used, dimensions and personalizations. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Jan-Carel to find out what’s possible.

Beeldhouwer Jan-Carel Koster _ Wash-Basin 5


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